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Tekiner Tolu, Aylin.
An exploration of synchronous communication in an online pre-service esol course :
b community of inquiry perspective
h [electronic resource] /
by Aylin Tekiner Tolu.
[Tampa, Fla] :
University of South Florida,
Title from PDF of title page.
Document formatted into pages; contains X pages.
Dissertation (PHD)--University of South Florida, 2010.
Includes bibliographical references.
Text (Electronic thesis) in PDF format.
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ABSTRACT: Based on a collaborative and socio-constructivist approach to online education, the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model emphasizes creating an effective learning environment where students feel a connection with other learners and the instructor and engage in well-designed collaborative learning activities. Following a naturalistic methodology, this qualitative case study investigated the use of synchronous communication for creating a community of inquiry and student satisfaction in an online ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement course for preservice teachers. Elluminate Live was used for class meetings while an instant messenger, Gmail Chat served the needs for impromptu interactions between a student and the teacher. The study was guided by the CoI framework. Data sources included online recordings of live meetings, student written reflections, surveys, interviews, and teacher/researcher journal. The findings indicate that synchronous communication enhances building and sustaining an online community of inquiry. Gmail Chat provided increase in teacher availability, social presence, and student satisfaction, however it did not contribute much to creating cognitive presence simply because it was not planned to be used for content delivery. Moreover, Elluminate Live contributed effectively to the community of inquiry by enabling manifestations and interactions of its 3 elements; social, teaching, and cognitive presence. Participants perceived that live class meetings promoted their learning and helped them feel the instructor and other students in a more real sense. Class meetings via Elluminate Live promoted cognitive presence by affording the students opportunities for listening to the presentations by the teacher and other students, watching a teacher demonstration through a webcam, interacting actively through Whiteboard tools, text-based chat, microphone, and emoticons, and working with their groups in their private breakout rooms. Instant and audio communication among students created a sense of social presence with trust, comfort, and belonging, and enhanced group work efficiency. The study highlights the critical role of synchronous communications to create effective online learning communities, however it also underlines that the implementation of synchronous communication tools requires robust pedagogical planning to enhance student learning.
Advisor: Linda Evans, Ph.D.
Computer mediated communication
Synchronous web-based course system
English as a second language
x Secondary Education, General
t USF Electronic Theses and Dissertations.
An Exploration of Synchronous Communication in an Online Preservice ESOL Course: Community of Inquiry Perspective by Aylin Tekiner Tolu A d issertation submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Dep artment of World Languages College of Arts and Sciences and Department of Secondary Education College of Education University of South Florida Major Professor: Linda Evans, Ph.D. Adam Schwartz Ph D. Phil Smith, Ph.D. James White, Ph.D. Date of Appro val: November 5, 2010 Keywords: distance education computer mediated comm u n ication, s ynchronous w eb b ased c ourse s ystem higher education English as a second language Copyright 2010, Aylin Tekiner Tolu
DEDICATION To my parents Senay and Ali Tekin er
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I owe special thanks to several people who helped me conduct this dissertation. First and foremost, I would like to thank my major professor, Dr. Linda Evans for her outstanding mentoring, expert guidance, patience, and for always bei ng available and supportive whenever I needed. I would also like to acknowledge my committee members, Dr. James White, Phil Smith, and Adam Schwartz for their, support, expertise, and invaluable ideas and challenges. I n addition, I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Dr. James Paul, who served in the committee and provided philosophical insights and wisdom during the proposal stage of the study. Beyond my committee, I want to thank my ESOL 3 students who volunteered to participate in this study I also want to thank my friends and colleagues in the Second Language Acquisitio n and Instructional Technology Ph.D. program for their support. A special thanks to Angela Cresswell, Muberra Sahin, Derya Kulavuz Onal, Radhika Lothe, Victoria Russell, Jane Harvey, Maria Paul, and Shengrong Cai, who all helped with many different ways and always motivated me to finish. I am very grateful to Angela, who listened to my whining, encouraged me, and gave me strength when needed most. Finally, I want to express m y gratitude to my husband, parents, sister and brother for their nonstop love, care, support and patience. Without their support, I would not be able to finish this dissertation.
i TABLE OF CONTENTS L IST OF TABLES v LIST OF FIGURES vii ABSTRACT viii CHAPTER ONE: INTRODUCTION 1 Overview 1 Theoretical Framework 3 Constructiv ism 3 Sociocultural Theory 4 Interaction and Computer Mediated Communication 5 Community of Inquiry (CoI) 6 Statement of the Problem 10 Purpose 18 Research Questions 18 Significance of the Study 19 Delimitations and Limitations 21 Delimitations 21 Limitations 22 Operational Definitions of Terms 23 CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW 26 Overview 26 The Theoretical Framework 27 Social Learning and Sociocultural Theory 27 Sociocultural Theory 28 Sociocultural Theory a nd Distance Education 33 Community 36 Online Learning Community 40 Community of Inquiry (CoI) 43 Social Presence 44 Cognitive Presence 47 Teaching Presence 52 Design and Organization 53 Facilitating Discourse 54 Direct Instruction 56 Distance Education 58
ii History of Distance Education 59 Distance Education for Teacher Education 71 Distance Education and Second Language Teacher Education 76 Inter action (CMC) as a Core Element in Distance Education 80 Learner learner interaction 82 Learner instructor interaction 83 Learner content interaction 83 Synchronous and Asynchronous Modes of Interaction 84 Research on Synchronous Interaction 90 Summary of Research on Synchronous Interaction 100 Research on Online Community of Learning 100 Summary of Research on CoI 123 Conclusion to Chapter 2 124 CHAPTER THREE : METHODOLOGY 127 Overview 127 The Setting and Participants of the Study 128 The Setting 128 Language Principles and Acquisition Course 130 My Role as a Researcher and Instructor 139 Research Design 143 Research Method 145 Recruitment and Sampli ng of Participants 148 Data Collection 152 Surveys 160 Student Refl ections 161 Researcher/Teacher Reflective Journal 161 Interviews 162 Synchronous Session Recordings 164 Elluminate Live recordings 164 Gmail Chat recordings 166 Additional Data Sources 167 Data Analysis 169 Trustworthiness 177 Conclusion to Chapter 3 179 CHAPTER FOUR: RESULTS 181 Overview 181 A Holistic Analysis of the Course 182 Analysis of Synchronous Communications 187 Gmail Chat 187 Gmail Chat and CoI 192 Teaching Presence 192 Social Presence 196 Cognitive Presence 199 Summary of Gmail Chat and CoI 199
iii Elluminate Live Meetings 200 Course Orientation Meeting 202 Teaching Presence 203 Social Presence 204 Cognitive Pr esence 208 Phonology and Morphology Meeting 211 Teaching Presence 211 Social Presence 214 Cognitive Presence 217 Midterm Review Meeting 220 Teaching Presence 221 Social Presence 223 Cognitive Presence 225 SLA Theories Meeting 230 Teaching Presence 231 Social Presence 237 Cognitive Presence 241 LEP Analysis Presentation Meeting 243 Teaching Presence 244 Social Presence 252 Cognitive Presence 257 Summary of Elluminate Live Meetings 261 Tom 263 263 Gmail Chat, CoI, and Satisfaction 267 Elluminate Live, CoI, and Satisfaction 270 Social Presence 272 Teaching Presence 278 Cognitive Presence 280 284 Kristina 284 284 CoI, and Satisfaction 286 CoI, and Satisfaction 291 Social Presence 293 Tea ching presence 297 Cognitive Presence 298 302 April 303 303 CoI, and Satisfaction 305 CoI, and Satisfaction 309 Social Presence 311 Teac hing Presence 315 Cognitive Presence 318 321
iv Conclusion to Chapter Four 322 CHAPTER FIVE: DISCUSSION AND IMPLICATIONS 323 Introduction to Chapter Five 323 Discussion of Findings for Research Questions 323 Gmail Chat, CoI and Satisfaction 324 Elluminate Live, CoI and Satisfaction 328 Critical role of teaching presence 330 Critical role of social presence for c ognitive presence 331 Effects of student expectations, previous experi ence, and preferred teaching and learning styles 332 Grea ter sense of social presence for the group and instructor 333 Change in perspectives over time 333 Perceiving teaching presenc e as content teaching 334 Other factors found to be effective by students for CoI 334 Theoretical Implications 335 Methodological and Software Implications 336 Pedagogical Implications 338 Gmail Ch at 339 Elluminate Live 340 Training and Planning 340 Interactivity 342 Setting Climate 343 Use of Webcam 343 Time Management 344 Recommendations for Future Research 345 Conclusion 346 REFERENCES 348 APPENDICES 376 Appendix A: Syllabus 377 Appendix C: Self and Group Evaluation Rubric 386 Appendix D: Survey 1 387 Appendix E: Survey 2 390 Appendix F: Synchronous Meeting Student Reflection Log 393 Appendix G: Synchronous Meeting Researcher Observation Log 395 App endix H: Instructor/Researcher Self Reflection Protocol 396 Appendix I: The Probing Interview Questions 398 Appendix J: Informed C onsent 400 Appendix K: Copyright Permission for the CoI Figures and Tables 404 ABOUT THE AUTHOR END PAGE
v LIST OF TABLES Table 1 Operational Definitions of the Presences and Coding Template in CoI 9 Table 2 14 Table 3 Critical Thinking Categories 49 Table 4 Coding Scheme for Instructional Design and Organization 54 Table 5 Coding Scheme for Facilitating Discourse 55 Table 6 Coding Scheme for Direct Instruction 56 Table 7 Five Generations of Distance Education 59 Table 8 Data Collection Timeline and Procedures 135 Table 9 Data Analysis Template 156 Table 10 C ase Study Data Base for Data Organization 173 Table 11 Qualitative Criteria for Assessing Research Quality 177 Table 12 over the Semester and their Perceptions on Using Chat and its Role for the Community of Inquiry 190 Table 13 Sample Indicators of Social Presence Categories Identified in the Chat Conversations 196 Table 14 Sample Indicators of Teaching Presence Categories Identified in Orientation Meeting 204 Table 15 Sample Indicators of Teaching Presence Categories Identified in Phonology and Morphology Meeting 213 Table 16 Sample Indicators of Social Presence Categories Identified in Phonology and Morphology Meeting 216
vi Table 17 Sample Indicators of Cognitive Presence Categories Identified in Phonology and Morphology Meeting 219 Table 18 Mani festation of the CoI Elements and Categories in a Sample D ialogue while Solving a Question 227 Table 19 Sample of Teaching Presence In dicators during the SLA Theories Meeting 234 Table 20 A Sample of Comments and Feedback Dial ogue during LEP Analysis Presentation Meeting 247 Table 21 Samples of Open Communication Indicators at LEP Analysis Presentat ion Meeting 255 Table 22 Cognitive Presence Categories and Sample Indicators at the L EP Analysis Meeting 261 Table 23 Samples of Social Presence Indicators Used by Tom at Elluminate Live Meetings 276
vii LIST OF FIGURES Figure 1. Types of interaction in distance education 7 Figure 2. Element s of an educational experience in Community of Inquiry Model 8 Figure 3. Illustrative screen capture of th environment. 13 Figure 4. Progression t hrough the four phases of the zone of proximal development 34 Figure 5. Components of a social theory of learning 39 Figure 6. Practical Inquiry Model 4 9 Figure 7. A visual display of theoretical constructs for the study 125 Figure 8. Five Year Dist ance Learning Enrollment Trend 130 Figure 9. Data Sources 152 Figure 10. Matching the research questions to data sources 168 Figure 11. Research Plan 170 Figure 12. Screenshot of one of the groups posing anticipation and review q uestions 233 Figure 13 Screenshot of o ne of the groups sending greetings at the end of their p r esentation 241 Figure 1 4 S cree n shot of one of the gr using humor thro ugh cartoons related to the content 255
viii An Exploration of Synchronous Communication in an Online Preservice ESOL Course: Community of Inquiry Perspective Aylin Tekiner Tolu ABSTRACT Based on a c ollaborative and socio constructivist appro ach to online education the Community of Inquiry (CoI) model emphasizes creating an effective learning environment where students feel a connection with other learners and the instructor and engage in well designed collaborative learning activities Fol lowing a naturalistic methodology this qualitative case study investigate d the use of synchronous communication for creating a community of inquiry and student satisfaction in an online ESOL (English Speakers of Other Languages) endorsement course for pre service teachers. Elluminate Live was used for class meetings while an instant messenger, Gmail Chat served the needs for impromptu interactions between a student and the t eacher The study was guided by the CoI framework Data sources include d online re cordings of live meetings, student written reflections, surveys, interviews, and teacher/researcher journal. The findings indicate that synchronous communication enhances building and sustaining an online community of inquiry. Gmail Chat provided increas e in teacher availability, social presence, and student satisfaction, however it did not contribute much
ix to creating cognitive presence simply because it was not planned to be used for content delivery Moreover, Elluminate Live contributed effective ly to the community of inquiry by enabling manifestations and interactions of its 3 elements; social, teaching, and cognitive presence Participant s per ceived that live class meetings promoted their learning and helped them feel the instructor and other students in a more real sense Class meetings via Elluminate Live promoted cognitive presence by affording the students opportunities for l istening to the presentation s by the teacher and other student s watching a teacher demonstration through a webcam, interacti ng actively through Whiteboard tools, text based chat, microphone, and emoticons, and working with their groups in their private breakout rooms. Instant and audio communication among students created a sense of social presence with trust comfort, and belo nging and enhanced group work efficien c y The study highlights the critical role of synchronous communication s to create effective online learning communities, however it also underlines that the implementation of synchronous communication tools require s robust pedagogical planning to enhance student learning.
1 CHAPTER ONE : INTRODUCTION Overview O nline distance education has become an important strategy for higher education institutions. In 2000, Washington State's Higher Education Coordinating board a sked the Legislature to provide more funds for online education (Camevale, 2000). Enormous growth in distance education and blended learning is forecasted (Kim & Bonk, 2006). Recently, t he 2008 Sloan Survey of Online Learning has revealed that 3.94 million students were enrolled in at least one online course in fall 2007 F or the past few years surveys show that online student enrollment is on the rise faster than overall higher education enrollment ( Allen & Seaman, 2008). Distance learning has been shap ed by technological developments especially, Internet and computer mediated communication (CMC) systems and by the shift from instructor centered to learner centered approaches (Benjamin, 2003 ; Palloff & Pratt, 1999 ). Several researchers have a ssert ed that distance education is entering into a new era that might be termed postindustrial. At the core of this era is collaborative learning and frequent two way communication (Garrison, 1997 2000; Peters, 1993). CMC technologies, which can be either synchronous or asynchronous, have a profound impact on the quality of distance learning ( Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Wang, 2008) Synchronous
2 communication provides real time interaction and immediate feedback while a synchronous communication features delayed and generall y text based communication A challenge facing distance learners is feeling a sense of isolation and disengagement Compared to their face to face section counterparts, online learners indicated a lower level of sense of community ( Rovai & Lucking, 2003) Research also showed that online learners who do not feel a sense of belonging to a class or a connection with class members and the course instructor tend to drop the course or have a low level of satisfaction and learning success ( Galusha, 1997; Hara & Khling 1999; Kubala, 1998; Patton, 2008 ; Palloff & Pratt, 1999 ; Rovai & Ponton, 2005 ) Therefore, c reating a community of learners or in other words, a sense of togetherness in online courses is crucial for student s to feel a connection with other learn ers and instructors for student satisfaction and knowledge acquisition (Dickey, 2004 ; Ellis, 2001 ; Ni & Aust, 2008 ; Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Powers & Mitchell, 1997 ; Stodel, Thompson, & MacDonald, 2006 ) This study investigate d the role of synchronous comm unication for community building and student satisfaction and learning in an online ESOL ( English Speakers of Other Languages ) endorsement course for preservice teachers at a large metropolitan university in the Southeast T wo types of synchronous communic ation tools were implemented and studied in the course : (a) instant messenger Gmail chat for spontaneous one on one communication with the instructor in place of office hour s ; and (b) a synchronous web based course system (SW B CS), Elluminate Live for who le class meetings. Gmail ch at has been in use in the research setting since fall 2008 when the
3 university started using Google Applications. T hrough the university administered email interface students and teachers can now benefit from text based, two way audio or video chat for synchronous communication. Elluminate Live was incorporated at this same point into the course management system, Blackboard. Theoretical Framework Several theories and concepts play a significant role for the theoretical backgro und of this study I introduce four key terms here and discuss them in detail in subsequent chapters : C onstructivism, sociocultural t heor y computer mediated communication/interaction ( CMC /I ) and o nline learning communities Constructivism As a qualitati ve case study, this research study follows a naturalist approach (Guba and Lincoln, 2005). This approach is predicated on the idea that knowledge is constructed by people in a social context, whereas positivist approaches follow with the assumptions that k nowledge is available quantitativel y, to be measured objectively. In qualitative research, it is assumed that knowledge or data is not objective. We perceive everything from our point of view so that ultimate objectivity is not possible. According to Cresw ell (1998), our assumptions or beliefs are related to ontology; the nature of reality arguably guides the qualitative researcher. In this study, I (the researcher), my participants and you, the reader, will contribute and co construct i o n the multiple re ali ties that shape this study. paradigm of research and instruction C onstructivism has shaped distance education profoundly ( Hannafin & Hill 2002 ; Tam, 2000) Not only does it play an impo rtant role in the research setting for course
4 design and delivery, but it also frames the proposed study. Constructivism has emerged from the work of such theorists as Jerome Bruner, Jean Piaget, and Lev Vygotsky (Liaw, 2004). T wo strands guide the discipl ine : cognitive constructivis m and social constructivism (Liaw, 2004). Cognitive constructivism drawing from Piaget argues that While cognit ive constructivism has an individualistic approach, the second strand, social constructivism drawing from Vygotsky, emphasizes the role of the social context where learning is assumed to take place through interaction with others (Liaw, 2004; Mackinnon, 2 004). Sociocultural T heory S ociocultural theory (SCT) was founded by Vygotsky approximately 80 year s ago. It is a theory of human development that unites the ontogeny of an individual with the cultural historical milieu and the variable processes of par ticipation in culturally SCT the human mind is always mediated (Lantolf, 1994; 2000; Mondada & Doehler, 2004). Mediation refers to human activities which are manifested by symbolic obje cts (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Mediation takes place by both physical and psychological (symbolic) tools that are created by human cultures over time and modified by each generation. Through using these tools, human beings can have indirect or mediated rela tionship with the ir surroundings As physical tools (hammer, car, computer, and so on) help humans organize and change their environment, symbolic tools (numbers, music, art, language, and so on) help humans control cognitive/psychological processes. Physi cal tools are directed toward objects while symbolic tools are directed toward subjects.
5 SCT views learning and teaching as one whole activity (Vygotsky, 1978) SCT situates learning in the social activities. Learning is seen as a cyclical event within a zone of proximal development ( ZPD ) which is defined as developmental level as determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in ( Vygotsky, 1978, p. 86) SCT provides a strong framework for second language teacher education (Golembek & Johnson, 2004; Grubb & Hines, 2000; Davies 2002 ). Moreover, in the distance education field, SCT has been applied to curriculum design and research studies ( Fisher, 2003; Gillani, 2000 ). Because social interactions are crucial for the learning process in an online environment, studies that focused on synchronous and asynchronous communication tools investigat ed teaching strategies that encourage interactions and facilitate learning ( S c hullo, 2005 ; Fisher, 2003). Interaction and Computer Mediated Communication Interaction, considered one of the most important component s of learning (Dewey, 1938; Vygots k y, 19 78) is also a core construct in online learning and research ( Swan, 2002; Vrasidas, & McIsaac, 1999; Moore, 1998; Rovai & Ponton, 2005; Johnson, 2006; McIsaac & Gunawardena 1996 ; Davidson Shivers, 2009 ; Anderson & Kuskis, 2007) One of the most cited defi nition s of interaction in literature is attributed to Wagner (1994) as: reciprocal events that require at least two objects and two actions. Interactions occur when these objects and events mutually influence one another. An instructional interaction is a n event that takes place between a learner and the
6 learner's environment. Its purpose is to respond to the learner in a way intended to change his or her behavior toward and educational goal. Instructional interactions have two purposes: to change learners and to move them toward achieving their goals. (p. 8) In more dated distance education literature three types of interactions were identified as : (a) learner content; (b) learner teacher; and (c) learner learner (Moore, 1989) Later, Hillman, Willis, an d Gunawardena (1994) added the fourth mode -learner interface interaction R e cently, as displayed in Figure 1, additional interaction types have been discussed : learner institution, teacher institution, and teacher teacher interaction ( Anderson & Kuskis, 2007) Learner centered approaches based on collaborative and constructivist learning models emphasize the critical role of communication and collaboration among students as well as between students and teachers for student satisfaction and effective lea rning (Anderson, 2008; Swan, 2002). Community of Inquiry ( C oI) A l place where people learn using group activity to define problems affecting them, to decide upon solutions, and
7 Figure 1 Type s of interaction in distance education ( Anderson & Kuskis, 2007, p. 297). p. 207). In a web based learning environment, such community may be called an online learning community, eLearning community, online learning network, or virtual learning community (Tu & Corry, 2002, 2003). One of the theoretical frameworks for online learning communities is Garrison, Anderson, and Arche r (2000) Community of Inquiry (C o I) model. The CoI framework has been widely applied to research on asynchronous learning environments and proven to be a useful theoretical framework ( Akyol & Garrison, 2008 ; Swan, 2004). Displayed in Figure 2 t his model emphasizes three kinds of overlapping interactions as necessary for online community building: cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence. The presences are operationally defined in terms of the constituting categories and indicators which guide the coding and analysis of transcript of a given
8 online course to measure the extent to which each category is represented (Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Garrison & Arbough, 2007). f inquiry to project their personal characteristics into the community thereby presenting themselves to presence is defined by frequency counts of three types of comm unicative action in a computer conference: open communication, group cohesion, and affective expression, including indicators of risk free expression, encouraging collaboration and emoticons. Figure 2 Elements of an educational experience in Community of Inquiry Model ( Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000, p. 88 )
9 Grounded in foundational critical thinking scholarship cognitive presence is throug participants move deliberately from understanding the problem or issue through to exploration, Teaching presence is defined in terms of design, facilitation and direct instruction. For the CoI to emerge, all three presences should be present. In addition, correlations have been found between perceived learning and student satisfaction and each of the presences of the CoI (Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Shea, 2006; Shea, Li, & Pickett, 2006). A summary of the CoI elements and charac teristics is displayed in Table 1. Table 1 Operational Definit ions of the Presences and Coding Templat e in CoI (Akyol & Garrison, 2008, p. 4) ELEMENTS CATEGORIES INDICATORS (examples only) Social Presence Open Communication Group Cohesion Personal/Affective Learning Climate/ Risk Free Expression Group Ide ntity/Collaboration Self Projection /Expressing Emotions Triggering Event Sense of Puzzlement
10 Cognitive Presence Exploration Integration Resolution Information Exchange Connecting Ideas Applying New Ideas Teaching Presence Design & Organizat ion Facilitating Discourse Direct Instruction Setting Curriculum & Methods Shaping Constructive Exchange Focusing and Resolving Issues Statement of the Problem As depicted in the introduction online education faces the challenges in build ing a co mmunity of learning to promote effective communi cation and collaborati on for better student satisfaction and learning Another challenge is related to the implementation of new multi faceted complex synchronous web based course system s in already existing asynchronous learning environment s These factor s become increasingly significant when considering an online ESOL education course as a research setting. Although learning communities have been found to be effective for more than two decades, their adapta tion to online learning is recent (Caverly & MacDonald, 200 2 LaPointe. & Reisetter, 2008). At the very core of community building, effective online learning, and student satisfaction are teacher student and student student interactions (Johnson, 2006). H owever, t he majority of online courses are only based on asynchronous communication (Swan, 2002 ; Stein, Wanstreet Glazer, Engle, Harris, Johnston, Simons & Trinko, 2007 ). As expected, most research on community of learning, student
11 isolation, online lear ning, student satisfaction, and presence were carried out in the asynchronous learning environments (Swan, 2002; Wang, 2008; Wang & Hsu, 2008). Studies on synchronous systems mostly studied text based chat. Moreover, v ery few studies investigated complex S WBCS and those focused on pedagogical strategies (Schullo, 2005 ; Stewart, 2008) It has been argued that t he development of a sense of community where students feel supported, socially present and are engaged in collaborative and social learning can be enh anced by the use of synchronous communication t ools ( Schullo, 2005 ; Wang, 2008 ). However, it is still unknown how SWBCS affect the quality of online learning. N o available research has been found investigating the full picture of social learning environmen t over a semester in a totally online teacher education course making use of both synchronous and asynchronous communications. Such a study needs to incorporate previous relationships among students and with the instructor, previous experiences with CMC to ols, course design, assignments, formative assessment, and possible other factors that may be discovered through qualitative research design. With the recent advancements in technology, higher broadband, lower cost, and greater opportunities for teachers to learn and use SWBCS application of SWBCS is on the rise. As a result, there is a high need for studies investigating how these tools are implemented, how instructors and students perceive these tools, and most importantly how student learning and sati sfaction as well as sense of learning community are affected by their implementation.
12 Teaching presence and teacher immediacy are crucial for community building and online learning ( Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000 ; Lavooy & Newlin 2008 ; Shea, Li, & P ickett, 2006). Office hours are mandated in most universities including where this study took place However, based on personal observation as well as published literature ( Lavooy & Newlin 2008) online instructors generally do not provide synchronous off ice hours but instead use asynchronous communication tools such as email and/or discussion board. Unfortunately, these approaches regularly fail to meet the needs of students who seek immediate help or feedback, which may lead to student frustration and di sengagement Further, synchronous office hours can help learners feel social presence and personal contact with their instructor ( Lavooy & Newlin 2008) Gmail chat is an automatic feature of the email account used in the research setting university. Inste ad of exchanging several emails or using different IM and email programs to solve a problem, users are able to see if their contact is online or not on the email screen and initiate a chat session immediately. Research is needed on how this application is valued and perceived by the students in terms of teacher and social presence, satisfaction collaborative group work and learning providing insights for best practices of virtual office hour implementations. Elluminate Live provides several tools which m ake whole class meeting s similar to face to face class es in many ways (see Figure 3) Some of the available tools are two way video, Whiteboard, breakout rooms (for group work), audio and text chat, and desktop application sharing. These features and their descriptions are shown in Table 2.
13 Figure 3 s ynchronous e nvironment
14 Table 2 Features of Elluminate Live! Feature Feature Description Voice over the Internet protocol (VoIP) Participants can listen to the instructor or presenter and speak to convey their messages. Elluminate allows up to 6 speakers at one time. The moderator can set the number of simultaneous speakers at any time during the sessio n. It has audio wizard for testing audio settings before the session starts as well as a control panel for microphone and speaker settings during the session. Instant Messaging (IM) Text based chat allows participants to communicate with each other with t ext messaging. Participants can select the person to whom they want to send text message privately. A transcript of chat conversations excluding private messages can be saved. Breakout rooms Breakout rooms are used to create small groups in a whole class meeting. Groups can be created automatically based on the number of participants and the group number set or the moderator can assign each participant to a certain group. Creating breakout rooms, moving members from one group to another, and taking all par ticipants to the main classroom is quite simple. This feature allows: group cooperation to complete a task, brainstorm ideas, team competitions, and one one meeting with individuals or groups.
15 Interactive Whiteboard the synchronous equivalent of a tradit p. 17). All participants can use the whiteboard when allowed Whiteboards enable instructors and students to post ideas, show images, and do PowerPoint presentations. Multi point vide o conferencing Allowing up to six live video windows at a time, with a connection of a webcam, users are able to see each other as they talk. Interactive quiz and survey manager This tool enables the instructor to assess learners simultaneously. Multiple choice or true or false type questions can be displayed on the Whiteboard and students select among the buttons to response immediately and get the statistical results as graphical display on the Whiteboard. Application sharing By this feature moderators can show any document or s oftware saved on their own computer and that is not or cannot be uploaded in the whiteboard. Hand raising/ Learner instructor interaction tools These tools allow studen ts to interact with the instructor. Similar to clicking on a button, which gives a signal to the instructor. When multiple hand s are raised the system put s them in a queue based on who raised hi s/her hand first. Other tools are like emoticons which allow emotional reaction such as smiling, applauding,
16 like it (thumbs down).. (Guided) Web Surfing This tool allows the moderator to sho w a website to the students. The instructor can decide either to let students surf the website as they like or make them follow him/her. Elluminate Live was incorporated into Blackboard (the learning management system in use in this university) in fall 2008. It would not be wrong to assume that this application will increase the use of Elluminate Live in online courses in the ESOL department because creating synchronous meetings has become much more available and feasible to use for instructors and stud ents. Students who register for an online section of this course rather than a face to face section, generally have distance learning experience. However, in my three years of online teaching experience, I observed that none of the students had any synchro nous CMC experience in their previous online courses. Therefore, I was particular ly interest ed to investigate the role of implementing synchronous communication to build an online community of learning. More specifically, I intend ed to highlight how studen ts feel about and perceive these synchronous tools in terms of social presence, cognitive presence, teacher presence, course satisfaction and learning. Additionally, I aim ed to understand how these synchronous tools were implemented in this online ESOL cou rse and what challenges and advantages were experienced during their implementation. Furthermore it wa s noteworthy to investigate what factors affect ed use of synchronous communication. Some students may perceive online learning as an
17 equivalen t to asynchronous learning. That is to say, they may assume such epistemological stances that learning should be individual, flexible in terms of time and the teacher should be in charge of direct teaching. Their epistemological position may affect their expectations, satisfaction and learning when they face a constructivist student centered learning environment. Therefore, such questions carry great importance for the online education field: What emotions and perceptions do such students have when synchro nous communication is used in their class? Once they are provided with necessary guidelines, what factors mediate their decision to use or not to use these tools for collaborative group assignments and discussions? Understanding how students feel about syn chronous communication and what barriers they experience provide s valuable insights into student characteristics and help online instructors teach more effectively by planning with informed decisions. Lastly, there is paucity in literature related to CoI framework and ESOL teacher education from a SCT perspective. To begin with, although CoI was applied to 252 reports, 48 of which included data collection and analysis, only five of those investigated learning. However, those studies operationalized learni ng as self report ed, measuring perceived learning by means of mainly one closed ended survey question (Rourke & Kanuka 2009) It is necessary to overcome these deficiencies through further research with rigor ous methods and triangulation Second, a ccordin g to sociocultural theory (SCT), learning takes place within collaborative, social and cultural activities where all cognitive changes within their zone of proximal d evelopment ( Johnson, 2004 ). Th ere is need for proven pedagogical strategies used in online second language teacher and/or
18 ESOL education guided by SCT. In the last decades, SCT has received attention from SLA teachers and researchers for second language te aching ( Johnson, 2004; Lantolf, 2001; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006; Warschauer, 2004). However, very limited research is available on online ESOL teacher education from a SCT point of view (Teemant, Smith, Pinnegar, & Egan, 2005). Purpose The overarching aim of the current research study wa s to investigate how synchronous CMC tools mediate community of inquiry as well as student satisfaction in a totally online preservice ESOL course. Specifically th is study aim ed to understand the role and perceived effects of two types of synchronous CMC tools Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live, on the student satisfaction and online community of inquiry that includes social presence cognitive presence and teaching presence Gmail chat is an instant messenger (IM) tool incorpora ted into the Gmail program, which is the official email program for the course participants. It allows text based, audio, and video conferencing interactions and was used as a virtual office medium. The other tool is a complex and multi faceted SWBCS, Ellu minate Live, which serve d for planned group and whole class meetings Research Questions The study was guided by the following questions: Overarching Question: How does the use of synchronous communication tools mediate the community of inquiry in an onl ine pre service ESOL course? 1. How does the use of Instant Messenger (IM), Gmail Chat (for extended virtual office hour) mediate the community of inquiry?
19 1.1. How does the use of IM mediate social presence? 1.2. How does the use of IM mediate cognitive presence? 1.3. Ho w does the use of IM mediate teacher presence? 1.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of IM in terms of course satisfaction? 2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate the community of inquiry ? 2.1. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Li ve) mediate social presence? 2.2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate cognitive presence? 2.3. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate teacher presence? 2.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of a SWBCS in terms of course sati sfaction? Significance of the Study This study is noteworthy for both its theoretical and pedagogical implications. With rapid developments in technology, distance learning is changing its face fast. New technologies are entering in to the education field. As Blake (2007) stated, future studies need to investigate media attributes and contributions of each technology and media to quality teaching and learning Because online ESOL programs and/or courses are on the rise, and with the given scarcity of resear ch on synchronous CMC, particularly SWBCS, this study potentially fill s in the gaps una ddresse d in the literature. The study is also significant for its theoretical approach. V ery few s tudies examine d the three elements of the CoI framework simultaneousl y (Garrison & Arbough, 2007). In addition, to date only one study has been found investigating their development over a semester (Akyol & Garrison, 2008). However, that particular study did not
20 investigate the nature and value of CMC tools implemented in t he course. Neither did it use any data source rather than survey. Similarly, only five studies investigated learning, and they used a very limited number of self belief closed ended survey questions. With its rigor ous design, this study bring s better unde rstanding and application of the CoI framework. Furthermore, since the CoI framework heavily depends on social learning, SCT needs to be detailed Applications of SCT to SLA started decades ago and according to some leaders in the field, SLA has been expe riencing a paradigm shift and aligning itself with a sociocultural approach ( Hall, 1997 ; Johnson, 2004; Kramsch, 2000; Lantolf, 2006 ). A pplications of SCT to o nline programs and courses for ESOL have only recently received attention. Moreover, recent natio nal standards and accreditation policies have brought a pressure to teacher educators to meet the requirements and educate second language teachers in a bet ter way. Thus, online educators and instructional designers are in need of a research based, informe d and effective pedagogical model that can guide their online practices. This study help s researchers and educators gain insights into how to build and foster a learner's sense of connectedness (social presence), cognitive presence teacher presence and immediacy, and how to promote student satisfaction and learning. The study provide s implications for online course design and pedagogy that are conducive to online learning communities. Such information is critical to enhance the quality of online teachin g and learning environments. Therefore, this study is n ot only significant to online ESOL teacher education but also online educators in other fields such as K 12 and higher education as well as industry.
21 Delimitations and Limitations The nature of the re search questions and purpose of this study necessitate d a qua litative research approach. This study aim ed to provide a detailed view of the topic observing it within its natur al setting, which in this case wa s an online classroom. As the researcher I ass ume d an interpretative and naturalistic approach to study the phenomena perspectives (Creswell, 1998; Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). Delimitations The delimitations in quali tative research are related to transferability as opposed to external validity (or generalizability) in quantitative inquiry ( Anfara, Brown, Mangione, 2002 ; Creswell, 1998; Gall, Gall & Borg, 2007 ; Lincoln & Guba, 1985). In contrast to quantitative inquiry where the aim is to generalize from a sample to a population, in qualitative inquiry m sample is selected precisely because the researcher wishes to understand the particular in depth, not to find out what is general ly tru p. 208 italics in original ). The q ualitative researcher aims for transferability by providing rich and t h ick description of the participants, context, study design and methods so that readers can determine the applicabilit y of the findings to their own situations This is also referred to as reader or user generalizability by Wilson (1979) find out what is applicable from this case to their own situation and needs. Therefore, for the goal of this study, transferability was the concern.
22 Limitations As t he researcher I play ed a significant role in data collection and analysis because I was the instructor as well. In a qualitative inquiry the researcher becomes the primary instrument of data collection and analysis ( Denzin & Lincoln, 2003 ; Lincoln & Guba, 1985 ; Merriam, 1998 ). The dual roles of the researcher may cause both advantages and disadvantages. In terms of limitation, some s tudents may purposefully provide biased data to plea se their instructor They may not b e very reflective and self reported beliefs may not be completely accurate. In addition, dual roles and pro longed engagement with the site and participants may obscure my view and lead to inadvertent biased assumptions ( Yin, 2003). Therefore data triangulation was implemented to alleviate this limitation by conducting follow up interviews course achievement to gather in depth and credible data. The researcher/instruc tor role c ould be an advantage too. A s an instructor I was observing the research setting constantly and had a better understanding of the phenomenon, which provided deeper understanding of the setting and lived experiences or the participants. With refe rence to theoretical limitations, the definitions of presences are far from unproblematic among the studies that applied CoI framework. Further qualitative studies may prove helpful to better understand and clarify categories and indicators of presences There are several strategies recommended by researchers to enhance the trustworthiness (including transferability, credibility, dependability, and conformability) of a qualitative case study. These procedures are specifically discussed in the following ch apter
23 Operational Definitions of Terms The following terms are critical for the proposed study. Participation: initiate communication, or to respond to a message received As ynchronous communication takes place with delayed time. For instance, discussion forums, email, wikis or blogs serve as medium for asynchronous communication. Community of Inquiry is a framework for online collaborative learning which highlights that lear ning occurs within a community through the interaction of three essential elements cognitive presence, social presence, and teaching presence (Garrison, Anderson & Archer, 2000). Distance Education is planned learni ng that normally occurs in a different place from teaching and as a result requires special techniques of course design, special instructional techniques, special methods of communication by electronic and other technology, as well as special organizationa l and administrative arrangements E Learning refers to learning through electronic networks. It covers a wide range of applications and processes such as, computer based learning, web based learning, online learning, virtual classroom, and digita l collaboration. Cognitive presence is a component of Community of Inquiry framework and defined as Comp uter Mediated Communication (CMC) refer s computers are used to mediate the transfer of information between individuals. CMC can
24 be either asynchronous, e.g., discussion boards, or synchronous, e.g., real time audio and vai, Ponton, & Baker, 2008, p. 6) Interaction i s and two actions. Interactions occur when these objects and events mutually influence one s at the core of social constructivist learning; Sense of Community is feelings that members have of belonging, a feeling that members matter to one another and to the group, and a shar Creating a sense of community in an online course alleviate s loneliness and isolation that is impediment for learning. Building sense of community in online courses requires meticulous work and process. Social presence degree of awareness of another person in an interaction and the consequent appreci ation (p 65). In Community of Inquiry framework, social personal characteristics into the community thereby presenting themselve s to others as Social presence in terms of feeling others social presence refers to the feeling a sense of togetherness, thus feeling free to conduct social interactions Synchronous communication o ccurs in real time. For this study it refers to real time communication in completely web based environment through CMC tools such as Instant Messaging (IM), two way videoconferences and Elluminate Live.
25 A Synchronous Web Based Course System ( SWBCS ) is a m ulti faceted software application that manages real time interactions in an online learning environment. A SWBCS usually encompasses Whiteboard for content delivery, text based chat, VOIP, videoconferencing, hand raising, breakout rooms, application sharin g and polling. For this study, a s ystem called Elluminate Live will be in use. Teaching presence is also one of the three elements of Community of Inquiry model. It is defined in terms of designing an online course facilitating online learning and provi ding direct instruction when necessary Web based Instruction (WBI ) is instruction that is supported by the resources of the Internet and the World Wide Web for teaching and learning experiences.
26 CHAPTER TWO : LITERATURE REVIEW Overview Creating and sus taining an online community of learning is one of the most popular foci in previous studies of online education (Tu, 2004 ; Wegerif, 1998; Rovai & Ponton, 2005; Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2001 ). According to Palloff and Pratt, rticipation of a learning community, there is no online A learning community (Wegerif, 1998, p. 48). Besides being a popular and critical subject, creating learning community is also the primary challenge to achieve higher order and meaningful learning (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008 ; Palloff & Pratt, 2005 ). Online instructors who aim to build and sustain community of inquiry in their courses need to pay attention to several principles while de signing and teaching the course. One of the critical points is related to implementing both asynchronous and synchronous technologies. This study is driven by this challenge, which is to explore the role and effect of synchronous communications in a totall y online preservice ESOL teacher education course in which collaborative student centered learning and community building is fundamental. The purpose of this chapter is to lay a theoretical and research foundation for this proposed study This chapter wi ll study and explore the related literature on online learning, online teacher education, interaction, community of inquiry, and Web based synchronous communication. I also intend to investigate and critique the previous
27 research findings, the methods appl ied in these studies and find unidentified areas and unresolved problems, which aim to guide and inform the current study. The chapter is divided into three major parts. Part one will explicate the theoretical framework, CoI and other theoretical constr ucts that guided the study Part two will more generally discuss distance education and its connection to teacher education. Part three will focus on interaction and Computer Mediated communication ( CMC ) Finally, I synthesize the chapter as it relates to the focus of the study The Theoretical Framework Theoretical framework is not only necessary to shape a research study, but it is also required to interpret the findings of the study (Merriam, 1998). This section is devoted to explain ing and study ing the major constructs terms, and theories that are necessary to understand the theoretical background of the study Social Learning and Sociocultural Theory Social learning theories have received attention from distance education researchers because not onl y a paradigmatic shift in education is taking place but also the online distance education has changed the face of distance education and made collaborative learning feasible. Theories such as sociocultural theory, social constructivism, social developmen t theory, and social learning theory under score learning as a social process. Bandura 's (1977) s ocial learning theory stresses the importance of modeling the behaviors and attitudes to learners and providing them opportunity to practice these behaviors for retention. Learning takes place during c ontinuous reciprocal interaction between cognitive, behavioral, an d environmental influences. According to Bandura (1977) t his process of
28 observational learning is composed of four parts: (a) attention, (b) reten tion, (c) motor ocial learning theory overlaps with behaviorism and cognitive frameworks because it covers attention, memory, motivation and observation and modeling. However, it is also related to ciocultural theory (SCT) believes that learning is a function of the activity, context and culture in which it occurs. According to Lave and Wenger (1991), learning is the proces s of "legitimate peripheral learners turn from novice to experts. Situated theory also r elates to SCT which takes mediation as the center for human mind development. SCT is discussed in the following section. T hese social learning theories frame the majority of research discussed in this chapter. Distance education research shaped by social learning concepts focused on community building, social presence, collaborative learning, and interaction. All these areas of social learning interact with the use of synchronous communications in an online course, which is significant for this study. Sociocultural Theory S ociocultural theory (SCT) was founded by Russian psychologis t Lev Vygotsky approximately 80 year s ago. It is a theory of human development (Thorne, 2005). SCT has been gaining great popularity in several fields such as psychology, education, and language acquisition (Lantolf, 2001) In order to gain better understa nding of the applications and implications of SCT in SLA, the fundamental principles of the theory need to be examined.
29 SCT mediated (Lantolf, 1994; 2000; Mondada & Doehler, 2004). Mediation refers to human activities which are mediated by symbolic objects (Lantolf & Thorne, 2006). Mediation takes place by both physical and psychological (symbolic) tools that are created by human cultures over time and modified by each generation. Through using thes e tools, human beings can have indirect or mediated relationship with the world. As physical tools (hammer, car, computer, and so on) help humans organize and change their environment, symbolic tools (numbers, music, art, language, and so on) help humans c ontrol mental processes. Physical tools are directed toward objects while symbolic tools are directed toward subjects SCT can be summarize d into three major tenets ( Johnson 2004 p. 105 ): (a) t he developmental analysis of m ental processes, (b) t he soci al or igin of human mental processes, and (c) t he role of sign systems in the development of human higher mental functions. T enet 1: The first tenet is related to scientific method. Each new method of investigation and analysis leads to better understandin g of the problem. By this tenet, investigating human mind as an end product is made clear. Vygotsky (1978) argue s that the focus needs to be on the process instead solel y on the product of the development. Because higher mental abilities are inherited from ancestors, the research method to be used is the genetic method which is historical and requires investigation of all major points in the history of human mental devel opment. F our genetic domains or levels are identified (Lantolf, 20 0 0; Johnson, 2004 ; Lantolf & Thorne, 2006 ) : Phylogenesis domain
30 is concerned with how human mentation developed through mediations and became distinguished from other livings. Sociocultural domain f ocuses on the ability to use too ls and symbolic systems by a society, more specifically, how different types of symbolic systems are developed and how they affect mediation and thinking. Ontogenesis domain is centered in the interaction of two forc es, natural (biological) and cultural. It focuses on individual level of mental development. While natural force is responsible for lower level mental abilities that are regulated by the environment, cultural force is responsible for higher level mental fu nctions that are self regulated. The fourth domain is microgenesis which is co nce rned for investigation of reorganization and development of higher mental functioning over a short period time. This allows observing mental processes while the most major lin ks are set up. Although each domain can be studied separately for their analytical facility, they are interconnected. T enet 2: This tenet centers in the higher mental capacities that originate in social activity such as problem solving, learning, and rat ional thought. Cultural development takes place first on the social plain and then on the psychological plane. They originate on social plane as they are created collaboratively by the members of the culture. This is reflected in the general genetic law of cultural development Individuals internalize the patterns of social activities they participate. In other words, i the source of consciousness resides outside of the head and in fact anchored in social p. 13). I nternalization process is complex and dynamic. There is a gradual movement from the initial stage which is object regulated to the other regulated and finally to the self regulated stage. During this transition from interpersonal to intrapersona l plane, language has a very important role.
31 Zone of proximal development (ZPD) is also situated in the second tenet. ZPD is defined by determined by independent problem solving and the level of potential development as determined through problem solving under adult guidance or in collaboration with more negotiated discovery that is realized through dialogic interaction between learner and and contingent. It transcends from mor e explicit to more implicit and help is only provided when necessary and withdrawn as the l earner shows gains self control. C ognitive development occurs within the ZPD and t his takes place throughout life. Self regulation is achieved through collaboration ( Antn & Dicamilla 1998 ). T enet 3: The third tenet of the SCT is related to the mediated role of language in the development of higher mental functions. Language in SCT is not only seen as a communication tool, instead as a regulator of mental functions. Language is the mediator between interpersonal and intrapersonal planes. McCafferty (1994) claims that private speech facilitates the transformation from interpersonal experience into intrapersonal. This function of langua ge becomes apparent in private speech which initially is egocentric speech/private speech and later becomes inner speech at the age of seven. Egocentric and inner speech become more apparent during the tasks that are above the developmental level. Egocent ric speech guides the individual during problem solving and
32 2004, p. 112). Egocentric and inner speech show different characteristics. Egocentric speech includes minimal role of syntax and phonetics. Single words may stand out as a sentence or phrase. The s ubject of the sentence is dropped. The p honetic nature of words is reduced Moreover, word is very important in inner speech. According to Vygotsky (1986), word has two meanings: the literary/dictionary meaning and the dominance of the sense of a word over its meaning. The latter meaning is concerned with the acquisition of the words, voices or utterances during internalization processes within the sociocultural context. In other words inner speech has sense that is different from meaning. Sense is abstract, dynamic, fluid, complex, and context dependent. B efore child has language he/she uses gestures as mediators. In summary, explaining these three tenets provides so me insights into the SCT. SCT views human mental development as socially constructed. Language is not only a communication tool but it also has a crucial role in organization of mental activities. Mental development is a social activity taking place on an interpersonal plane through interactions with others. Over time through dynamic processes, the interpersonal plane turns into intrapersonal plane. Sign systems make this internalization process possible. SCT does not deny the biological co nstraints of ment al development. H owever, it does not position the brain in the center of cognitive development because higher mental abilities are not the product of cognitive abilities but the product of transformation of these abilities through sociocultural interaction s (Johnson, 2004). That is, higher mental abilities show how mediated symbolic and cultural means are internalized by the person. SCT emphasizes potential level of development, ZPD. Internal developmental processes
33 operate through assistance received from other individuals or from the environment. When these processes are internalized, learning takes place. Sociocultural Theory and Distance Education The impact of SCT on distance learning instructional design and technologies is great ( Gillani 200 0 ). To begin with, SCT is assigned to learning goals objectives practices and materials Individualized objectives for learners are designed. Objectives become broad, high level and complex as individuals do not learn the same things from instruction. To engage learners in constructing knowledge, testing their hypotheses, technology can be used as a meditational tool to create authentic and meaningful tasks and activities. Assessment should involve authentic and challenging practices. It should focus on the proc ess rather than the end state. It does not have to reveal the same accomplishments across learners SCT shifts attention from the instruction as the transmitting knowledge to the instruction as the guidance of socially based exploration in intellectually rich settings. Computers are used in developing higher order thinking skills like defining problems, judging, solving, and drawing conclusions as well as information seeking, inquiry, and collaboration. Multimedia/hypermedia, and the Internet allow s non li near learning increased learner autonomy E mail technology can be an effective knowledge sharing communication tool for asynchronous discussion that promotes both personal and social construction of meaning (Mackinnon, 2004). Similarly, synchronous tools such as ICQ, Sky pe, MSN Messenger, Elluminate Live TM bulletin boards, listservs, video conferencing simulations, and virtual reality can promote instant feedback, collaboration, cri tical thinking, and construction of knowledge
34 Gillani (2000), who post developed a SCT model for online education (p. 163). The ZPD provides the theoretical framework for this Socia l Inquiry Teaching Model for online courses. Fo r the framework, four major themes of ZPD are discussed: (1) internalization of external activities, (2) the role of language in cognitive development, (3) knowledge formation within the zone of ZPD, and (4) a ctivities within the ZPD. These themes are explained under SCT section in this paper. I n this model, the learning progression follows four phases of ZPD. Figure 4 displays how the model is applied to the design of an online course website as a meditatio nal tool for scaffolding activities of the learner through each phase. Figure 4 Progression through the four phases of the zone of proximal development (Gillani, 2000, p. 168).
35 During each phase, scaffolding helps students to pass to the next phase. Instruction begins with intellectual confrontation Inquiry procedures (finding, gathering, organizing information) act as scaffolding. Phase 1 is the reliance on others. During this phase, learners are passive and they rely on teac her modeling. Motivational strategies are used to present and model the content. During the second phase, collaboration with others learners interact with other learners, the instructor, the Web to construct their potential development and to construct communities of learning by using meditational tools like internal and external speech and the Web and online communication tools. Learners enter a personalized community of m 169). In the third phase self reliance students reflect on what they have learned and search for other ways for further learning. Search tools and the Web are the k ey tools for this phase. Instructors need to provide necessary learning strategies, guidance and resources. The final phase is the internalization the original intellectual confrontation through repeated acti Learners become creative in generalizing solutions to new intellectual confrontations. Instructors can expect learners to create their own web pages or online communities to develop new original ideas about what they have internal ized. Researchers at the Cen ter for Research on Education, Diversity and Excellence (CREDE) at Brigham Young University have developed a model for sociocultural
36 pedagogy in their distance learning program ( Teemant, Smith, Pinnegar, & Egan, 2005) Their mo del consists of five standards for effective pedagogy: 1. Joint productive activity (UJPA): Facilitate learning through joint productive activity among teacher and students. 2. Language and literacy development (LLD): Develop competence in the language and liter acy of instruction across the curriculum. 3. Making meaning (MM): Connect teaching and curriculum with experiences and skills of students' home and community. 4. Complex thinking (CT): Challenge students toward cognitive complexity. 5. Instructional conversation (I C): Engage students through dialogue, especially the instructional conversation. (p. 1677) Community Community and communication share the same Latin root, communicare, which means to share and to be in relation with ( The International Encyclopedia of Com munication ). Human nature seeks to communicate and connect with other humans. Sharing, communication, discourse, and community form the basis of all civilizational, scientific, intellectual, cultural, and artistic advances (Harasim, 2002; 2006). Although its employment for empowering learning in educational setting s can be considered recent, community has a long social theoretical history. Community has been defined and studied in various ways by several disciplines including sociology, psychology, anthro pology, political science, education, and instructional technology (Barab, 2003). Yet, there is not a consensus on one definition among disciplines. Based
37 on their interdisciplinary community research, Barab and Duffy (2000) identified four features that t hey believe are requisite of a community: a common cultural and historical heritage, including shared goals, negotiated meanings, and practices; an interdependent system, in that individuals are becoming a part of something larger than themselves; and a r eproduction cycle, through which newcomers can become old timers and through which the community can maintain itself. (p. 36) Three years later, four characteristics were added to this list by Barab, MaKinster, and Scheckler (2003): a common practice and/o r mutual enterprise; opportunities for interactions and participation; meaningful relationships; and respect for diverse perspectives and minority views. Creating and maintain ing a community is dynamic, complex and evolving. It is not generally possible t o identify launching and dismissal time of a community. Communities undergo constant change and evolution. Members of a community should possess a sense of trust respect, support and commitment (Tu, 2002; 2004; Palloff & Pratt, 1999). One of the influent ial community frameworks for educational settings, especially theory, which also has been applied to several disciplines. of community and le arning are based on his social learning theory which he placed on the following four premises: 1. Humans are social beings. Learning is also a social endeavor.
38 2. Knowledge within a social setting means being competent at activities which are valued within the community. 3. Knowing is developed through active engagement in the community (or world) dedicated. 4. The goal of learning is to produce meaning or understanding of the world and our engagement within it. (p. 4) According to Wenger (1998) learning results from practice. People constantly take part in many social practices as a member of different communities such as family, school, sports team, church and similar. They interact wi th other human beings and with the world. These social practices are a way of learning. Therefore, learning is not a separate process, but it is a collective transformative practice of communities. In his is the engine of practice, and pra (Wenger, 1998, p. 96). social theory of learning characterizes social participation as a process of learning and knowing by integrating four components of social participation: meaning, practice, com munity and identity. The relationship between these elements is displayed graphically in Figure 5 learning in discursive activities of community. Citing Thomas Kuhn and Bruffee she
39 In Thinking in Education Lipman (2003) emphasizes that education requires communities of inquiry. For him, communities of inquiry possess these features: inclusiveness, participation, shared cognition, face to face relationships (not necessary but advantageous), the quest for meaning, feelings of social solidarity, deliberation (considering alternatives), impartiality, modeling, thinking for oneself, challenging as a Figure 5 Components of a social theory of learning (Wenger, 1998, p. 5) procedure, reasonableness (capacity to make rational judgment), reading, questioning and discussion Further, in his description of community of inquiry he comments : A community of inquiry attempts to follow the inquiry where it leads rather than be penned in by the boundary lines of existing disciplines. A dialogue that tries to conform to logic, it mo ves forward indirectly like a boat tacking into the wind, but in the process its progress comes to resemble that of thinking itself. Consequently, when this process is internalized or introjected by the participants, they come to think in moves that resemb le its procedures They come to think as the process thinks. (p. 20 21)
40 Online Learning Community differentiation and membership were relevant factors in the CMC have shaped the concept of community. Community is not bounded with geography now. Actually, according to Harasim ( 2006 ) the Internet is like a community itself. Online communities started with professional development communities in 1986 by OISE Onta rio Educators Online Course, and later followed by Global Lab, Lab Net and Star Schools, Educators Network of Ontario in 90s (Harasim, 2006). Application of community concept to online learning can be linked to the paradigmatic shift in education, which r eveals transformation in 3 areas: (a) knowledge transmission to knowledge building, (b) from teacher centered to learning centered, and (c) from passive to active learning (Harasim, 2006). In addition, 21 st century has witnessed a socio economic shift. Vir tual learning has dominated the annual growth rate of traditional colleges by 4 times as it also had 25% rate of yearly increase (2006). Together with these paradigmatic and socio economic shifts, social learning theories and innovations in technology play ed a significant role for the growth of interest in online community of learning. Distance education researchers either designed frameworks for online learning community or applied the frameworks created for F2F communities to online learning. In their c ompariso n of F2F community with online community, Pallof and Pratt (1999) point out that in both community types, members collaboratively negotiate norms. These negotiations become more significant for an online community because they set
41 the foundation of the community. All issues should be discussed openly such as how members will meet, how often, what the goals are, and so on. According to Palloff and Pratt, (1999), t he ultimate goal of online learning community in academic settings is to enhance stude nt learning and satisfaction. Learning excitement about learning together and renews the passion involved with exploring new rts the intellectual as well as must be why online learning community is referred as the essence of distance learning (Palloff & Pratt, 1999; 2005). Researchers provide online instructors with practical guidelines and strategies for building online learning communities. Palloff and Pratt (1999) display a practical and illustrative approach. For them the keys to creation and effective maintenance of online community of le arning cover the following 6 concepts: Honesty: Learners should feel a sense of safety and trust. They should know who their classmates are and believe in that they receive honest feedback. Responsiveness: Collaborative group learning needs to be applied Interactions among learners and between learners and instructor should be in a timely manner and th o rough. The instructor should respond to student needs and concerns. Relevance: The content and tasks need to be relevant to learners. Seeking and sharin g real life experiences can promote learning. Respect: Learners need to feel respected as people. Respect can be indicated by welcome messages, self introductions, immediate and through feedback self and group
4 2 evaluations by learners, confidentiality am ong group members, giving consent to group work, and maintaining a code of ethics. Openness: In an open atmosphere, learners feel free to share their thoughts and feelings without fear retribution. Openness relates to respect and honesty. Learners who fee l respected and a sense of honesty can be open to learning community. outcome of participation in an o centered collaborative learn ing environment, learners have new roles and responsibilities. They are in control of their learning process as they become experts of their learning, by knowing how to pursue and reconstruct knowledge. Online learning community frameworks emphasize inter action (CMC), collaborative and soc ial learning. Tu and Corry (2002 ), for instance, proposed 3 major dimensions for online learning communities: instruction, social interaction, and technology. These dimensions need to be maximized consistently to build a community. Tu (2004) emphasizes collaborative group learning to build a learning community in an online courses. In the same book, he discusses 21 designs and guidelines to build online learning community. Among these include communication and preparation, team goals, objectives setting, peer support assignments, interactive project presentation, online moderation, online debate, virtual experts, guest moderators, selecting appropriate online communication tools, social collegial, collaborative evaluation a nd reflections for student learning and collaborative evaluation of teaching. These guidelines and strategies are very valuable to online instructors, not only to build a community of inquiry, but to enhance student learning and satisfaction in general. I, as the instructor of the online
43 course the setting for the proposed study pay attention to these guidelines and strategies during course design and delivery. The Community of inquiry framework, which is chosen as the theoretical background of the propose d study is explicated in detail next. Community of Inquiry (CoI) CoI was created by Garrison, Anderson, and Archer in 2000 to provide conceptual order and a tool for the use of computer mediated communication ( CMC ) and computer conferencing in supportin g an educational experience A community of inquiry is d Garrison & Vaughan, 2008, p.9). CoI combines two critical constructs for learning: community, which explicates social dynamics, social interaction and collaboration to create an environment to support the second construct, inquiry. Inquiry reflects intellectual academic interaction that includes th e process of constructing meaning through personal responsibility and choice Therefore, an online community of learning differs from other communities by inquiry. CoI was driven from extensive analysis and comparison of spoken and text based CMC as well as their effects on thinking, research on social learning, community, social constructivism, collaborative learning instructional design, and distance education The aim of this chapter is also to define and explain thes e constructs as in their relation to CoI.
44 This framework encompa sses 3 overlapping key elements -social presence, cognitive presence, and teacher presence (see Figure 2) D eep and meaningful learning in online courses takes place within the community thro ugh interaction of these three core elements The structure of the CoI framework has been confirmed through factor analyses by Garrison, Cleveland Innes, and Fung (2004), Arbaugh and Hwang (2006), and Arbaugh (2007). CoI framework proves to be a well struc tured model for build ing an effective learning community (Arbaugh, 2008). Although research has shown the CoI to be to be 59). In literature, the majority of the research studied the three elements separately, that is why there is a need for further research to focus on community of inquiry with its 3 elements. Social Presence The concept of presence is important for many f ields such as communication, technology, art, psychology, and distance learning. Short, Williams, and Christie's (1976) Social Presence Theory is often cited as the primary source for various ways of presence operationalized today. Short et al. (1976) stu died p resence as social richness found in communication medium Intimacy and immediacy are two important concepts for this conceptualization of presence. In face to face communication, people always convey and perceive positive, neutral, or negative levels of intimacy and immediacy through culturally shared signs and codes such as language choice, voice, tone, body orientation eye contact, and physical proximity. Immediacy refers to a measure of the psychological distance between interlocutors. Affected b y non verbal clues, it is also related to the temporal dimension
45 time lag between message and response and to the instrumental dimension, which is linked to the quality of the message In face to face communication immediacy is mainly express ed by verba l cues High immediacy makes the people feel that his/her addressee is responsive, sociable, warm, sensitive, personal or intimate, receptive or engaged. the ability of participants in a community of inquiry to project themselves social people Garr ison, Anderson, & Archer 2000, p. 95). Social presence in this framework differs from Short, et static approach. In CoI, the effect of media by itself is not the most significant factor in shaping the degree of social presence. Instead, the communication context which includes factors such as motivation, familiarity, skills, commitment, activities, and length of time in using the media influence s the development of social presence Research identified that social presence can be strongly felt in CMC ( Richardson & Swan, 2003 ; Tu & McIsaac, 2002; Tu, 2004 ) In text based CMC, it requires certain strategies and techniques that pertain to those factors in order to enhance immediacy indicators ( Rourke, Anderson, Garrison & Archer, 2001; Swan, 2002; 200 4 ) Social presence includes 3 progressive categories: open communication affective expres sion, and group cohesion (see Figure 2). Open communication is related to creating an environment for risk free expression For social presence to prosper, learners need to feel free and secure to express themselves openly. They need to engage in reciproca l and respectful exchanges projecting themselves personally and academically, so that they can 2008, p.
46 19). Interpersonal communication is very important for creating a sense of trust among learners. These are prerequisites for learners to work collaboratively. A community of (Garrison & Vaughan, 2008, p. 20). As learners interact and feel respected, they also should feel responsibility to the community of inquiry. Affective expression refers to expressing emotions and camaraderie. Once open communication is secured, interpersonal relations can start having emotional expression In an online learning environment, it takes longer time to achieve camarad erie. Humor and self disclosure are two examples of emotional expression in a community. Humor contributes to social presence. It serves as an invitation to conversation and decreases social distance. Self disclosure help learners get to know each other, s ubsequently establish trust, respect, and support. Self disclosure involves sharing feelings, experiences, attitudes, and interests. Therefore, in an online course, self introduction or personal web pages are very important. A mong the 3 presences, social both in online and face to Recent s tudies on social presence in online learning environment focused on causal or correlational relationship s between social pres ence and student learning and satisfaction in addition to its role in facilitating cognitive presence (Swan, & Shih, 2005 ; Shea, 2008 ; Richardson & Swan, 2000 ) It has been argued that collaborative learning activities lead to increase in social presence a nd online community building ( Richardson, & Swan, 2003 ; Rovai,
47 2002). Group cohesion and interaction also relates to social presence and learning (Arbaugh, 2005). Though extensively studied, further research is required to better understand how social pres ence evolves in an online learning community ( Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007). It should be emphasized that s ocial presence without cognitive presence does not lead to an establishment of community of inquiry However, it is also difficult to develop critical d iscourse without establishing social presence first (Arbaugh, 2007 ; Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007 ; Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005 ). Garrison and Vaughan (2008) shed light on this: Establishing social presence is a primary concern at the outset of creating a c ommunity of inquiry Social relationships create a sense of belonging, support freedom of expression, and sustain cohesiveness, but they do not structure and focus academic interests among students. Social interaction is insufficient to sustain a community learning inevitably require purposeful discourse to collaboratively construct, critically reflect, and confirm understanding. This is what is referred to as cognitive presence. (p. 21) Cognitive Pr esence Founded in Dewey's work on reflective thinking and practical inquiry as well as the research on critical thinking and postmodernist paradigm c ognitive presence is defined as the e xtent to which learners are able to critically reflect (re)construc t and confirm meaning, through and engag ing in reflective and sustained discourse for sharing meaning and confirming understanding (Garrison & Arb a ugh, 2007; Ice, et al. 2007).
48 Cognitive presence is the central element in critical thinking, a process a nd outcome that is frequently presented as the ostensib le goal of all higher education ( Garrison & Arb a ugh, 2007 p. 89) Below c ognitive presence is mapped on the cyclical inquiry model of learning that has two dimensions and four phases (see Figure 6). The vertical axis defines the deliberation action dimension which refers the recursive nature of inquiry incorporating collaborative activities The horizontal axis defines the perception conception dimension which refers to the process of meaning constr uction from experience. While dimensions are abstract processes, the four phases are more like representation of educational experience. These phases of critical thinking are explained below and shown with their indicators in Table 3 : 1. Triggering event: In this phase, participants recognize a problem, have a sense of puzzlement, or intrigued by the question or task. They feel motivated to explore content. 2. Exploration: Learners utilize a variety of information sources to explore problems, brainstorm ideas, e xchange information with others and discuss ambiguities. 3. Integration: Here learners participating in learning activities connect ideas and create solutions, and reflect on content. 4. Resolution: In this phase, learners describe the ways to test and apply kno wledge created; apply ideas, knowledge or solutions to new situations.
49 Figure 6 Practical Inquiry Model ( Ice et al., 2007) Table 3 Critical Thinking Categories (Garrison et al., 2001, p. 15 16) Categor y Indicators Socio cognitive Processes Triggering Recognizing the problem Sense of puzzlement Presenting background information that culminates in a question Asking questions Messages that take discussion in a different direction Exploration D ivergence within online community Unsubstantiated contradiction of previous ideas
50 Divergence within single message Information exchange Suggestions for consideration Brainstorming Leaps to conclusions Many different ideas/themes presented in one m essage Personal narratives/descriptions/facts (not used as evidence) Author explicitly characterizes message as exploration e.g. Does that seem right? Adds to established points, but does not systematically defend/justify/develop Offers unsupported opi nions Integration Convergence among group members Convergence within a single message Connecting ideas, synthesis Creating solutions Reference to previous message followed by substantiated Building on, adding to o Justified, developed, defensive, yet tentative hypotheses Integrating information from various sources: textbook, articles, personal experience Explicit characterization of message as a solution Resolution Vicarious application to real (No examples provided)
51 wo rld Testing solutions Defending solutions Research on community only recently focused on the role of community in formal online courses and its effect on cognitive presence (Garrison & Archer, 200 7 ). Compared to F2F in class disc ussions, a synchronous online discussions provide more chance for cognitively rich input because they are open to all learners students have equal chance to contribute and learners have flexible time and resources to process information and construct mea ning. In addition, text student cognitive load and the need to rely on memory to process large numbers of facts A community of inquiry is found to be less threate ning and positively related to perceived learning ( Shea, 2006; Shea, Li, & Pickett, 2006 ; Rovai, 2002 ). The development of cognitive presence is identified to be the most challenging of the three types of presences (Arbaugh, 2007). Moreover, cultivating hi gher phases of cognitive presence is quite difficult. Previous research found that most of the time inquiry did not move beyond the information exchange or exploration phase s (Garrison et al., 2001; Meyer, 2004) Garrison and Arbaugh (2007) discuss the pos sible reasons for this challenge and conclude that it is mostly due to teaching presence and group cohesion (social presence) as cognitive presence is strongly related to social presence and the role of teacher Social presence lays the foundation for crit ical discourse while teaching presence creates the environment for cognitive presence to develop ( Arbaugh 2007 ) To
52 proceed along four phases of cognitive presence, learners need to progress from open communication, to cohesion, and then to personal conne ctions to be able connect to their group and then participate in collabo rative and reflective processes where teacher role is paramount. It has been shown that teaching presence categories had a significant impact on the level of learner engage ment in cour se content in a deep and meaningful manner (Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005). A nother study on the effect of task nature revealed that Webquest and debate activities which were well structured led the highest phases of cognitive presence ( Kanuka, Liam, & Laflamme, 2007). Even the formulation of questions for discussions influenced student participation (Meyer, 2004). Analyzing the online asynchronous discussions in graduate level educational leadership classes Meyer (2004) found that only a small percenta ge of the discussions reached resolution level. To move beyond exploration phase and reach higher level s of thinking, she suggested setting actively moderating the discussion, or modeling how to operate at higher level and maybe re warding students. Therefore, sustained development of cognitive presence requires well designed learning tasks, facilitation and direction of inquiry, which brings the discussion to teaching presence. Teaching Presence In CoI, teaching presence is the ess ential element to bring all elements together to form and sustain the community. Research revealed that teaching presence is a strong predictor of student satisfaction, perceived learning, and sense of community ( Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Arbaugh, 2008; Ice et al, 2007; Shea et al., 2004; 2005 ; Shea & Bidjerano 2009 )
53 Teaching presence is the design, facilitation, and direction of cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learn ing outcomes 2001, p. 5 ). Teaching presence begins before the course starts when the instructor plan s and design s the course of study and continues throughout the course with facilitation and direct instruction roles Teaching presence encompasses three categories: design and organization, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction Design and Organization Anderson and colleagues (2001) argue that the process of designing an online course is generally more labo rious and time consuming than planning an equivalent course for F2F teaching. Before the course becomes available to students, the teacher needs to make a thorough planning for the process, evaluation, structure, and interaction aspects of the online cours e Because online learning sets new expectations and norms for students, everything needs to be more explicit and transparent. This whole process is conceptualized as the design and organization aspect of teaching presence (Anderson et al., 2001). Some of the activities in this category of teaching presence comprise creating curriculum materials like Power Point presentations lecture notes audio and/or video mini lectures, providing commentaries, and personal insights This category also involves designi ng a desirable mix of group and individual activities and creating a schedule for assignments, individual and group activities P roviding guidelines on how to use the medium effectively and appropriately is involved in this category too. Students need to b e
54 aware of learning goals and how to accomplish them. These factors are very significant for achieving successful online learning environment as shown in previous research (Swan, 2002; Kanuka, et al., 2007 ). Table 4 displays the indicators and examples for coding scheme of design and organization component of teaching presence. Table 4 Coding Scheme for Instructional Design and Organization (Anderson, et al., 2001, p. 6) Indicators Examples Setting curriculum "This week we will Designing methods "I am going to divide you into groups, Establishing time parameters Utilizing medium effectively "Try to address issues that others have raised when you post" Establishing netiquette "Keep your messages short" This component of teaching presence is the one mostly performed exclusively by the course instructor The design and organization of the course is completed before the course begins an d is adjusted when necessary during the course (Anderson et al., 2001). Facilitating Discourse Anderson and colleagues (2001) describe facilitating discourse as a critical e The t eacher facilitates discourse building, and encourages participation
55 by modeling, commenting on posts, identifying areas of agreement and disagreement, keeping the discourse focused on learning objectives, and trying t o draw in inac tive students The significant role of facilitating discourse is in agreement with research findings showing the importance of active teacher participation for online learning effectiveness (Arbaugh, 2005 2008) Facilitating discourse also includes asse ssing the efficacy of the learning process and the effective use of time Anderson, et al. (2001) provided a list of indicators and examples to analyze facilitating discourse in online discussions as seen in Table 5. Table 5 Coding Scheme for Facilitating Discourse (Anderson, et al., 2001, p. 8) Indicators Examples Identifying areas of agreement/ disagreement "Joe, Mary has provided a compelling counter example to your hypothesis. Would you care to respond?" Seeking to reach cons ensus/ understanding "I think Joe and Mary are saying essentially the same thing" Encouraging, acknowledging, or reinforcing student contributions "Thank you for your insightful comments" Setting climate for learning "Don't feel self conscious about 't hinking out loud' on the forum. This is a place to try out ideas after all."
56 Drawing in participants, prompting discussion "Any thoughts on this issue?" "Anyone care to comment?" Assess ing the efficacy of the process "I think we're getting a little off track here" Direct Instruction The final category of teaching presence, direct instruction refers to teacher s provi ding intellectual and scholarly leadership through in depth understanding of their subject matter knowledge (Anderson et al., 2001) Th is role is similar to that of a subject matter expert. Using subject and pedagogical expertise, the instructor directs learners, provides feedback, and injects knowledge from several resources (Anderson, et al., 2001). Even in a student centered learning e nvironment, strong leadership is necessary for discussions to stay on track through direct teaching when needed. Table 6 illustrates the indicators of direct instruction. As true for traditional role of the teacher, in an online course, i nstructors also should present the content. To retain the focus, instructors need to question, diagnose misconceptions and provide explanations serves to develop and explicitly delineate the contex (Anderson, et al., 2001, p. 9) Table 6 Coding Scheme for Direct Instruction (Anderson, et al., 2001, p. 10) Indicators Examples Present ing content/questions think"
57 Focus ing the discussion on specific issues "I think that's a dead end. I would ask you Summariz ing the discussion aid Mary said we concluded that We still Confirm ing u nderstanding through assessment and explanatory feedback. Diagnos ing misconceptions "Remember, Bates is speaking from an administrative perspective, so be careful I nject ing knowledge from diverse sources, e.g., textbook, articles, internet, personal experiences (includes pointers to resources) "I was at a conference with Bates once, and Resp onding to technical concerns "If you want to include a hyperlink in your message, you have to . It is important to provide timely scaffolding in order not to let students become frustrated because frustration leads to disengagement and is detrime ntal to learning. In addition, confirmation of understanding necessitates direct intervention through various assessment and explanatory f eedback. Research shows that f eedback is the most frequently cited reason for perceiving activities as beneficial (Ric hardson & Swan, 2003).
58 Finally, direct instruction also takes the form of responding to technical concerns, providing clear instructions on how to access and operate tools or resources. Instructors need to provide clear instructions and if necessary traini ng before students are asked to utilize the tools so that students feel comfortable with using them and can focus on learning the content. Research has highlighted the importance of direct teaching for effective online learning. Students who indicated hi gh levels of effective instructor direct instruction also showed high levels of satisfaction and perceived learning ( Shea, P ickett, & Pe lz, 2003). Distance Education Distance learning or distance education has been defined in different ways. Distance ed ucation is generally used to refer to the pedagog ical practice while distance learning is used to refer to student learning. However, they are often used interchangeably including other recent terms such as online learning, e learning, and web based instru ction. The United States Distance Learning Association: Distance Education (USDLA) provides the following definition for distance education : "The acquisition of knowledge and skills through mediated information and instruction, encompassing all technologie s and other forms of learning at a distance." In addition, d based, formal education where the learning group is separated, and where interactive telecommunications systems are us 1). In a more simple way, Keegan (1995) relates distance education to not having an her definitions are reviewed, it appears that re curring themes in
59 distance education include (a) place referring to physical distance between learner and teacher and it can take place any where when necessary hardware/software is available, (b) time (synchr onous or asynchronous), (c) path (wide range of paths to reach objectives), and (d) pace (students are flexible in deciding their own pace to some extent ). History of Distance Education Distance education has evolved with the technolog ical developments a nd their impact on instructional technology The history of distance education is gen er ally categorized according to the media or medium used. For example, Anglin and Morrison (2002) describe the evolution of distance education through five general categor ies of education delivery modes: correspondence, radio, television, two w ay audio/video, and web based. Using a more broad approach, both Garrison (1985; 1993) and Moore and Kearsley (1996) divide distance education history into three generations Yet, rec ently a number of researchers have suggested that a fourth generation (or to some classification, it is the fifth) of distance education has emerged (Garrison& Anderson 2003; Taylor, 2001; Wang & Sun, 2001 ). Table 7 displays an example of five generation m odel with the characteristics of delivery technologies. Table 7 Five Generations of Distance Education (Taylor, 2001) Models of Distance Education and Characteristics of Delivery Technologies Institutional Variable Costs
60 Associated Delivery Technologies Flexibility Advanced Interactive Approach ing Zero Time Place Pace Delivery First Generation The Correspondence Model Print Yes Yes Yes No No Second Generation The Multi me dia Model Print Audiotape Videotape Computer based learning (eg CML/CAL) In teractive v ideo (disk and tape) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No No No Yes Yes No No No No No Third Generation The Telelearning Model Audio teleconferencing Videoconferencing Audiographic Communication No No No No No No No No No Yes Yes Yes No No No
61 Broadcast TV/Radio and Audio teleconferencing No No No Yes No Fourth Ge neration The Flexible Learning Model Interactive multimedia (IMM) Internet based access to WWW resources Computer mediated communication Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes No Fifth Generation The Intell igent Flexible Learning Model Interactive multimedia (IMM) Internet based access to WWW resources Computer mediated communication, us ing automated response systems. Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
62 It should be noted that there is not a linear progression in this order of phases of distance education history. Each new generation improved the quality of the means for two fundamental elements of distance education: subject matter presentation and st udent instructor interaction. A proceeding generation does not eliminate the previous generation systems. There are still many examples of first and second generation systems and technologies in use (Garrison & Anderson, 2003). Garrsion (1985) explains, "T he development of the generations of distance education represents, in systems terminology, a hierarchical structure with an increasing differentiation of technological capacity for integrating unique delivery systems" (p. 236). Dating back to 19 th century, the first generation is marked by correspondence and independent study In Europe in 1833 distance education was through delivery of text based materials by using postal service, and therefore referred as correspondence courses One of the pioneers, Isaa c Pitman started a correspondence shorthand course in England in 1840 (Baker, 2006). In 1856, Charles Toussaint and Gustav Langenscheidt began correspondence written language courses for adults throughout Europe which also set the date for distance foreig n language education Students received content materials in the form of textbook chapters and received self exercises and worksheets, which made this model self learning, self teaching or home study program (Peters, 2001; Baker, 1999). In the U.S. corres pondence courses began in 1890 by the Colliery Engineer School of Mines in Pennsylvania. The course was on mine safety and received so much attention that it turned into the International Correspondence Schools. The world's first college level corresponden ce courses were offered in 1892 by the University of Chicago. In the 1930s CBS launched the American School of the Air a biweekly series for elementary and secondary schools.
63 I t was noted that by 1930 there were thirty nine universities offering correspond ence courses in the U.S. Although these correspondence courses lacked student to student interaction and frequent and spontaneous interaction between the student and teacher, they set the stage for more sophisticated, effective and complex distance educati on (Baker, 1999). The first generation pedagogy was influenced by behaviorist learning. Based on a positivistic approach, learning was assumed to be objective and therefore transferr able from knower to the learner Course teams worked towards simpli fying content using graphics and chunking it into sub parts as well as established a kind of relationship between learners and instructor by the use of didactic tone in the written language. In this generation, distance education brought freedom and educat ion opportunity to thousands of people with self study opportunity Referred as telecommunications generation by Garrison (1985) t he s econd generation evolved during the middle of the twentieth century when new technologies appeared including radio, tel evision and video broadcasting via satellites This is why i t is. By the late 1940s film became popular and colleges and universities began developing educational film. In 1950 the Ford Foundation offered grants to develop televised distance education cour ses (Baker, 2006). Charles Wedemeyer who is often considered to be the father of American distance education, moved correspondence study concept to independent learning ( Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004) Principles of h umanism played a role for this conceptu al movement. his university, the University of Wisconsin the largest distance education university in the world at that time I n 1965 the University of Wisconsin launched a statewide telephone
64 based distance education program for physicians Four years later the British Open University was established and became a model to the many other universities worldwide by initializing the structuring program by course teams and founding the instructional technology i nstitute The British Open University also popularized the use of broadcast television courses for college level in the 19 70s. Although, radio added voice and television added both voice and visual media to the learning systems they still lacked immediate 2 way communication Besides, student to student interactions though not the aim of the system then, were restricted with a group of students who gathered around at a certain place to watch televised courses together Besides, it was too expensive and la borious to set up teleconferences and design and distribute effective materials Actually, even though several multimedia systems such as audio cassettes, videotext, Super 8mm film, video cassettes, telephone, electronic blackboards and computer terminals, were researched and discussed by Bates, a professor at the Open University, in 1977, only the cheapest medium, the audio cassettes were applied largely, which eventually caused a decrease in the number of televised courses (Peters, 2001). According to G arrison and Anderson (2003), interactive, computer assisted instruction courses delivered on a CD ROM or DVD disks are new additions to the second generation distance education. Nonetheless, the production of these materials is expensive and requires high qualified professionals while distribution is again problematic. Interaction between learners and instructor was again limited by mail and telephone. In this era, the emphasis on self study (or independent study) continued. Due to high, front end costs, la rger student populations were targeted.
65 The pedagogy of second generation was under the influence cognitive learning theory and simulated peers to draw the user into a sophi ( Garrison & Anderson 2003, p. 37). Audio cassettes and telephone conferences became very popular and significant especially for distance language education. They enabled teaching and assessment of listen ing and speaking skills (Wan g & Sun, 2001). The second generation impacted the distance education history with the inception of influential theories of distance education h First, Otto Peter s (1971) theory of industrialization is considered to be the most influential on development of Open universities ( cited in Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004) The industrial model of distance education approached distance education as an industrial form of teac hing and learning for economies of scale thus emphasized the organization of the education al process and mass production to reach large groups of learners Next in 1985, B rje Holmberg presented a theory of guided didactic conversation which focused on providing simulated friendly conversation style in pre produced course documents to bring em pathy between learner and instructor. This theory valued emotional involvement of learners and motivation as they facilitate learning. Holmberg modified this theory a decade later (Holmberg, 1995). Lastly, Moore (19 93 ) s and created transactional distance theory by mov ing the attention to pedagogical theory. so seminal that recently it is proposed to be considered as a global, unifying theory of distance education (Gokool Ramdoo, 2008) Moore and Kearsley (1996) define transactional distance pedagogically rather than geographically as
66 That is transactional distance can also occur in face to face courses because the amount of dialog and the amount of structure of the course determines distance. D ialog is defined as 2 way interaction between the learner and the instructor while structure refers to the flexibility and desig n of the course. When a learning program has more structure and less opportunity for dialog greater transactional distance arises. However when dialog is more and structure is less, low transactional distance is observed. The theory also encompasses a th ird construct: learner autonomy, which refers to a personal characteristic of the learner It can vary in degrees based on the self directed learning. The highest degree of learner autonomy is found when a program let learners participate in thre e areas of the instruction: planning, implementation and evaluation. Nonetheless, not all learners are self directed. Those learners need more structure and more dialogue in distance learning environment. To provide a better learning environment frequency and immediacy of communication between learners and the learner and instructor play a crucial role. These pedagogical guidelines pertain to the current study too. As a synchronous web based course syste m, Elluminate Live offers several tools for student st udent and student instructor communication that can increase immediacy and feedback. Similarly, synchronous chat will be used to enhance teacher immediacy and feedback in place of virtual office hour. The t hird generation is shaped by the twenty first ce ntury breakthrough improvements in the computer and the Internet technologies While Taylor (2001) suggests that the difference between asynchronous and synchronous CMC requires a fourth generation, Garrison and Anderson find this argument too narrow becau se CM C innovations continue in both asynchronous and synchronous modes.
67 While c omputer technology started in mid 19 60s, even by mid 19 80s it played a limited role in educational settings (Wang & Sun, 2001) By the 19 90s many schools were still offering d istance educat ion via telecourses and video. After the availability of the W orld W ide W eb (WWW) in 1991, distance learni ng courses via the web appeared and opened the doors to groundbreaking in novations In 1993, International University College founded by Glenn Jones was launched as a true virtual university offering only online courses and degrees. In the early stages of this period, online distance educators used the web to publicize course content. By use of email and other web based tools, student and teacher interaction as well a s interaction among students have increased, leading to more interactive and cost and time efficient distance learning Constructivist learning theories ha ve a profound effect on the third generation distance education system s ( Garrison & Anderson 2003). Learner s have become active in constructing and re constructing knowledge as they participate in collaborative and social learning environments. In present, distance education is constantly and profoundly impacted by interact ive computer mediated communication technologies and the Internet ( Sherry, 1996 ; Wang & Sun 2001 ; Rudestam & Schoenholtz Read, 2002 ; Garrison& Anderson 2003 ) The use of learning management systems (or course management systems )such as Blackboard and Mo odle, web based synchronous systems social networks, and virtual communities are on the rise and this is why some scholars believe that distance education is embarki ng on a new generation (Garrison& Anderson 2003; Taylor, 2001; Wang & Sun, 2001 ) The fou information retrieval of vast amounts of content; the interactive capacity of computer
68 mediated communications (CMC); and the processing power of locally distributed processing via compu ter ( Garrison & Anderson 2003, p. 38). According to Table 3 ) the current generation makes up the fifth one Based on this model the fifth generation called as Intelligent Flexible Lear ning Model is marked by intelligent functions intelligent object databases, or i n other words automated systems such as automated responses to frequently asked questions and customizable interface of campus portals Basically, the fifth generation incorp orates artificial intelligence with the Web. It stands out to be an integrated system of administrative, student support services and instructional content. CMC carries high importance as it provides a rich source of thoughtful interactions, which can be structured, tagged and stored in a database and subsequently exploited for tuition ( Taylor, 2001, p. 5). This makes the system cost effective by enabling the management of larger learner population who otherwise cannot afford high tuition prices. The fifth generation also is likely to be more effective in terms of pedagogical and administrative support services. M any universities and institutions are yet to implement four th generation distance education systems. It is obvious that systems will need more years to be adopted widely. The review of distance education through so called generations highlight s the fact that interac tion is the vital component of distance education. As Garrison and Anderson
69 integration of various types and modes of interaction is the defining component of each Interaction will be discussed i n detail in the following sections. Further, there appears to be a mapping between learning theories and the use of different types of media and distance education systems in generations. From the 1920s to 1960s, behaviorism was very influential as linea r media, such as radio, film, and TV observed, measured, planned for, and evaluated in ways that are reasonably reliable and 2002 p. 17 ) In the 1960s, cog nitive science led a shift from behaviorism to cognitivism from the perspective of information processing Cognitivism was complemented by a new generation of desktop and personal computing (Whelan, 2005). nce organizers, mnemonic devices, metaphors, chunking into meaningful parts and the careful organization of Since the mid 1990s constructivism has become influential. It is accompanied by med ia and technologies that promote interaction, learner autonomy, knowledge construction, collaboration, scaffolding, and reflection, and offer learners multiple perspectives. Since 1995, new technologies such as the Internet, World Wide Web, microcomputer, interactive video, CD ROM and other networked and interactive environments ha ve that goes beyond behaviorist or cognitivist worldviews, and recasts learning as a ubiquitous, experiential, self In t he present generation, t he impact of social learning theories such as SCT on distance learning instructional design and technologies is noteworthy ( Gillani 200 0 ). To engage learners in constructing knowledge, testing their hypotheses, technology is used
70 a s a meditational tool to create authentic and meaningful tasks and activities by creating a community of inquiry where learners feel membership Frequent and quality of interactions between learners an d the instructor as well as among learners receive high attention. In addition, a ssessment involve s authentic and challenging practices and focuses on t he process rather than the end state. SCT shifts attention from the instruction as the transmitting knowledge to the instruction as the guidance of socially b ased exploration in intellectually rich settings. Computers are used in developing higher order thinking skills like defining problems, judging, solving, and drawing conclusions as well as information seeking, inquiry, and collaboration. Multimedia/hyperme dia, and the Internet allow s non linear learning increased learner autonomy E mail and discussion board technology can be an effective knowledge sharing communication tool for asynchronous discussion that promotes both personal and social construction of meaning (Mackinnon, 2004). Similarly, synchronous tools, such as ICQ, Sky pe, and MSN Messenger, video conferencing can promote instant feedback, collaboration, cri tical thinking, and construction of knowledge This section has traced the history of dista nce education. To understand and carry out research in distance education, knowing the history and context of distance education is necessary ( Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004) E ach generation is influenced by the leading learning th eory of its era and the av ailable media In the past, r esearch on distance education centered on comparisons of delivery methods, that is comparison of the student success rates in face to face courses with that of distance education, which (R ussell, 1999). Other research topics included media comparison, student attrition rates, the design of instructional materials for mass
71 production analysis of technologies for delivery of instruction, and the cost effectiveness of programs ( Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004). The recent research concerns include facilitation and effect of interactions, student satisfaction, learner support systems, learner needs and characteristics, pedagogical use of new technologies, global networking, virtual communities, de sign and implementation of courses with course management systems, issues of access, social and cultural contexts of distance learning faculty training workload and changing roles of online instructors knowledge construction in mediated learning environ ment, and online collaborative learning ( Sherry, 1996; Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004; Harasim, 2001 ; Rovai, Ponton, & Baker, 2008; Rudestam & Schoenholtz Read, 2002 ; Rogers, Berg, Boettcher, Howard, Justice, & Schenk, 2009 ) Although early generations emp hasized individualized learning with self study methods, new generations value collaborative and social learning, which recognizes that individual meaning making cannot be separated from social influence as associated with of learning (Garrison &Anderson 2003). Moreover, with the explosion of information in the Internet age, the sole issue in distance education is not to deliver content to learners anymore, but to teach learners e learning strategies to manage overwhelming resources and become an effective global learner in culturally diverse learning networks. The current generation enforces a post modernist and post industrial approach to distance education (Garrison, 2000) Distance Education for Teacher Education Web b ased distance education is an important strategy for higher education institutions.
72 among the common characteristics of online learners are being full time workers, married and ov er 25 years old (Murray, 2000, p. 41 5 ) Distance learning and hybrid (web enhanced) courses provide students with flexibility and practicality they need to pursue a degree. They do not have to sacrifice their jobs for their education. In addition to financ ial benefits, if students are already in a teaching position, online degree programs the development of connections between the theory and principles taught through the courses and the realities of the workplace Recen t research on online teacher education covered various topics such as intercultural competence, reflective learning and teaching, virtual field experience, community of practice, e mentoring, attitudes and perceptions. With the rapid globalization of the world and available technology increasing communication among cultures, intercultural competence has become the focus of research in d istance teacher education. Davis, Cho, and Hagenson, (2005) define g and a growth process where an importance of changing demographics and multicultural educational theories to teaching and learning; furthermore, they need to Lehman, 2005, p. 410). Accreditation agenc ies such as The National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE, 2001) and the Teacher Education Accreditation Council (TEAC, 2001) also mandate experience in diverse settings.
73 The project carried out by Davis, Cho,and Hagenson, (2005) involved six technology to facilitate it. It investigated how asynchronous discussion forums (ADFs) as a medium can facilitate reflective thinking among preservice teachers The structure of the ADF, the focus of the ADF, and group dynamics were observed. Although online reading groups provided an opportunity for virtual study abroad, the online community reflected dominant white US culture, because of the influence of US on software tools. possible increase in sensitivity to other cultures, and minimal evidence of the development of intercultural adaptation. Asynchronous discussion forums h ave become an important tool in teacher education to promote reflective thinking and teaching. Lee Baldwin (2005) investigated the potential of asynchronous discussion forums (ADFs) as a medium to facilitate reflective thinking among preservice teachers wi th the focus of the extent and manner in which this potential varies with respect to (a) the structure of the ADF, (b) the focus of urban university in the southwester n United States. Quantitative and qualitative research methods were used to analyze data collected during 14 week semester. The study examined 3 forums structured differently: practicum forum, readings forum, and methods forum. The p racticum forum showed t hat unstructured ADFs may not facilitate in depth levels of cognitive processing but provide a resource for seek social emotional support among peers. Although the r eadings forum prompted in depth levels of cognitive processing, it did not lead to reflect ive thought due to its highly structured form. The
74 m ethods forum prompted in depth levels of cognitive processing with peer scaffolding. In short, the results revealed that ADFs facilitate refle ctive thinking over time depending on the structure and focus of the forum and dynamics of the groups. The study underline s the group formation to facilitate higher levels of learning and relationships between social dialogue, group membership, and learning. Barnett and Hill (2006) examined pre and in service teac hers' perceptions about using the Inquiry Learning Forum (ILF) and how their participation in the ILF improved their teaching. Participants watched teacher practices through videos and discussed them with inservice teachers via asynchronous forums. Through these interactions they acknowledged that based teaching practice used based technologies bring solution to the difficulty of providing preservice t eachers with opportunities to examine authentic classroom practices and interact with classroom teachers. They highlight that web based technology gives opportunities for teacher educators to vitalize and reform teacher education courses and to support both pre and inservice teachers to critically Finally, t hey demand that there should be more examples of online professional development pro grams. Distance learning has made mentoring and community of practice available for pre and inservice teachers. Herrington, Herrington, Kervin, and Ferry (2006) describe a Web site designed for specifically for beginning teachers to overcome their proble ms. The Faculty of Education at the University of Wollongong ( Australia ) developed the online community of practice Web site called the BEST (Beginning and Establishing
75 Successful Teachers) in 2005 (Herrington, et. al., 2006). The site has been developed f or primary and early childhood teachers, and later included physical and health education teachers. It provides dynamically updated curriculum resources, e mentoring by expert teachers through discussion boards, and reflective teaching through weblogs. In this BEST, nine principles of authentic learning environments were used an d these principles were found effective for teachers in the evaluation of the site: authentic contexts (via metaphorical interface), authentic activities (via discussion forums and FAQ), access to expert performances multiple roles and perspectives (via d igital newsletters), collaborative construction of knowledge, opportunities for reflection (via weblogs), opportunities for articulation, coaching and scaffolding (via men toring by experienced teachers ), authentic assessment (via assessment of the website learning) National Technology Leadership Coalition (NTLC) and editors of six educational technology journals established an Early Career Mentoring Network to invite all teacher educators, doctoral students, new tenure track faculty m embers and anyone interested in technology and teacher education (Bull, Bell, Thompson, Schrum, Sprague, Maddux, Dawson, & Knezek, 2006). The network uses a blended approach with physical and virtual activities among interactions between the NTLC editors a nd other educational leaders and researchers at the beginning stages of their careers. Preservice teachers have limited chance to get experience in diverse settings because of having practicum or attending schools in predominantly white and rural
76 setting s (Malewski, Phillion, and Lehman, 2005). Distance learning technologies can give those teachers the opportunity the world. Two way videoconferencing is a perfect technology for this activity. One e xample of this has been conducted at Pu rdue University for virtual field experiences in preservice teacher education programs in a four year long project. The study showed many advantages of virtual field experience. Preservice teachers expressed positive attitudes toward the experience, benefited a lot from experienced host teachers engaged in reflective journal writing cultural styles and intellects of cultural minorities who are often misundersto od Distance Education and Second Language Teacher Education Similar to distance educ ation for teachers in general, second language teacher education via online education and blended learning has begun to receive attention from institutions and researchers. T he importance of computer technologies for second language teaching and teacher e ducation has been emphasized profoundly in literature ( Altun, 2005; Blake, 2000; Chapelle, 1998 & 2001 ; Kamhi Stein, 2000; Ortega, 1997; Salaberry, 2001 ; Warschauer, 1997 & 2001) Moreover, t eachers are expected to be competent with using technology in the ir classrooms. The National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE Task Force on Technology and Teacher Education, 1997) and the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE) recognize that technology in teacher preparation is ess ential for all teacher education programs. Research suggests that
77 preservice teachers should learn how to apply technology to teach foreign languages through using technology in situated contexts (Erben, 1999; Egbert, Paulus & Nakamichi, 2002 ; Son, 2002 ) Distance learning courses offer a valuable solution to this issue. In a well designed online course, preservice teachers learn the content knowledge through using various technological tools, which provides them with practical experience of CMC for its ev entual implementation in their teaching situations as well as a collaborative communication channel with their fellow teachers Further, o nline education offers a student centered, self mechanism for activating contex Compared to face to face discussions, they are less threatening and provide more opportunities for student participation, student student interactions, collaborative learning, evolution of a shared cul ture and virtual community, developing of a sense of belonging to a larger community of scholars, experts, and learners ( Grubb & Hines, 2000; Nunan, 1999). Inservice and preservice teachers generally show positive attitudes towards the online education and the outcomes of the programs are encouraging ( Henrichsen, 2001 ; Uzunboylu, 2007 ). Altun (2005) investigated 52 preservice English as a Foreign Language (EFL) toward the use of computer mediated communication (CMC) tools, particularly message boards Participants enrolled in two different courses (Computer Assisted Language Learning and Methods in Language Teaching). Data w ere collected reflective journals, a g to discussion board Data were analyzed both quantitatively and qualitatively. Results indicated initial attitudes were highly positive
78 toward using CMC tools but and post te st results with regards to their attitudes. Initially, p articipants thought CMC was time consuming and not necessary to use in face to face classroom. However, after the course, the attitudes were positive. In addition, students posited that they would lik e Altun (2005) asserted that asynchronous communication systems would definitely contribute to train future teachers to be reflective practitioners and active learners. online discussions on CALL related topics Son (2002) examined student student interaction via ele ctronic communication in a distance learning course. Participants were 19 ESL (English as a Second Language) and three LOTE (Language Other Than English in the study French and Chinese) in service teachers enrolling in the class from se ven different coun tries. Data were gathered from online discussions and an online survey with closed ended and open ended questions. The findings contributed to the evidence of the effectiveness of CMC interactions for language teacher education (93% student student interac tions and 7% student instructor interactions; also 47% task forced, 43% partially task forced, 10% off by time and personal interest. The majority of the students showed positive attitudes and mentioned se veral strengths of online discussions for learning and communication including collaborative learning, group interaction, speed, convenience, and the content relevance. Some suggestions made by students included use of group discussions and group projects, and assigning different
79 teacher education is important because it provides teachers with practical experience of CMC fo r its eventual implementation in their teaching situations as well as a In 1998, Brigham Young University Education faculty decided to base their Bilingual/ESL Endorsement through D istance Education (BEEDE) program on sociocultural theory The program has partnerships with the schools in the district. Both pre and inse r vice teachers registered for the courses. In her evaluation of sociocultural theory in teacher education, Teemant ( 2005) posits: Most practicing teachers have little systematic education in or experience with socio cultural theory or pedagogy The demand for diversity teacher preparation programs is high, yet there are relatively few bilingual/ESL teacher educators ava ilable to provide teachers with meaningful content and experience in implementing a socio cultural model of education. (pp. 49 50) In her study aiming program evaluation, Teemant (2005) analyzed the qualitative and quantitative data collected between fall 1999 and fall 2002 from students and course facilitators via surveys and questionnaires. The findings supported that a distance teacher education program can be designed to teach and model socio cultural perspectives and yield reflective participants who have increased knowledge, skills, and dispositions to innovate in their own teaching current research proposal because it shows evidence for application of SCT to distance learning teacher education. However, the y differ in their research purpose and framework.
80 Interaction (CMC) as a Core Element in Distance Education Interaction has been an important concept for learning for decades. John Dewey (1938) consider e d interaction and the continuity of interaction as two key requirements for an effective learning experience. In distance education interaction is the core constituent for many models, theories and frameworks (Sherry, 1996; Garrison & Anderson, 2003). Several researchers have argued that distance education is emerging onto a new era which might be called postindustrial. At the core of this era are educational transaction based on collaborative learning, and frequent two way communication (Garrison, 1997; Garrison, 2000; Peters, 1993). The impact of the In ternet and the ever changing Web on the distance education has been highlighted previously. These technologies also define d and modified interaction CMC enriched interaction types and modes. Although the majority of interactions still heavily depend on te xt based asynchronous applications, multimedia technologies can now accompany the text based content with voice and visual elements as seen in podcasting and discussion boards. Furthermore, CMC eliminates the time and geographic constraints of face to face communications. Thanks to this technology, community concept does not have to be defined with geographical locations any longer (Palloff & Pratt, 1999). Regardless of where they reside, people with common interest and goals can communicate efficiently, su stain relationships with remote friends, and even create or sign into existing social or learning communities. Moreover, CMC has brought equity and more academic and social opportunities for disabled people Due to s and social distinctions like gender, age,
81 with other people, which attenuates the feeling of isolation (Burgstahler, & Cronheim, 2001). In addition, interaction has been the defining element for so called generations of distance education. During first and second generations of distance education t he original concept of interaction included only learner instructor interactions. By generation third, the definition and forms of interaction has expanded. Moore (19 89 ) identified three types of instructional interaction: (a) learner learner interactio n (b) learner instructor interaction and (c) learner content interaction By Hillman, Willis, and Gunawardena (1994) a f ourth type of interaction was introduced to this model : learner interface interaction which takes place between the learner and the technology transactional distance theory, learner interface interaction pertains to structure while first three types fall under the category of dialog which was defined as interpersonal interaction Learner interface interaction is generally not considered as a separate interaction type, but as a distributed form of interaction taking place in 3 main n types of in teraction. Because online distance education utilizes technology for all 3 types of interactions, learner interface interaction becomes a part of them (Anderson, 2003). an, ability to navigate on course site to reach content, take assessment, or use tools to interact with other learners and instructor. Other types of interaction exp licated in literature such as teacher teacher, teacher content, and content content (Anderson, 2003) or lea r ner environment interactions ( Burnham & Walden, 1997) are beyond the scope of this study. Therefore, only 3 main
82 interaction types in literature wil l be discussed here, which will be followed by synchronous and asynchronous distinction and research on interaction. L earner learner interaction Interactions between the learner and other classmates to contribute to course discussions, debates, group proj ects, assignments and social communication are considered learner learner interaction. In early forms of distance education, this type of interaction was not feasible and was not the focus of research. With the technological improvements, as well as emphas is on social learning theories, learner learner interaction has become both possible and popular. This type of interaction is at the heart of collaborative and social learning. Sustained interaction among students based on collaborativ e learning lead to connections among students and ultimately a learning community (Boettcher & Conrad, 199 9; Tu, 2004 ; Tu & Corry, 2003 ). Student student interactions depend on many issues such as the course design, course content, tasks, assessment, learner characteristic s, availability of CMC tools and For the purpose of this study, learner learner interactions are critical because for immediate two way interactions between learners, synchronous tools will be in troduced to the students and will be incorporated into course design. During Elluminate Live meetings, different forms of interactions will take place including text based chat two way audio and video. Gmail chat will be used for instructor learner intera ction, however, its use will be promoted for learner learner i nteraction s. Although it is not feasible to
83 observer these interactions, students will be inquired to report and reflect on their experience if they have any. Learner instructor interaction Le arner instructor interaction occurs between the instructor and learner(s) as in the form of one to one or one to many. The purpose of this interaction is to present content, reinforce student understanding, elucidate meanings, provide feedback, and motivat e. During first generation of distance education, this type of interaction occurred through the postal service and l ater by means of telephone, radio and television broadcasting In online learning environment, asynchronous learner instructor interacti on utilizes email, blog, wiki and discussion board where instructor participates in group or class discussions or course management systems which incorporate all of the previous means. The recent concern for this interaction type is timely interaction (She arer, 2003). To meet the needs of this interaction type effectively and timely, synchronous web based course systems can provide a solution. The instructor can present content, direct question and answer sessions, and hold virtual office hours, in addition to provide opportunities for learner learner interactions. Therefore, such strategies may enrich the development of a community of inquiry, which this study aims to investigate. Learner content interaction As discussed by Holmberg (1985) interaction betw een learner and content takes a form of didactic dialogue. This interaction can take place whether the content is in the form a print, audio or computer based multimedia which can combine sound, text, grap hics, and video. In an asynchronous distance educat ion course, learner content
84 That is why, learner content becomes primary interaction type in those contexts. Learner content interaction is affected by what is pre sented, how it is presented, and in what tone the author speaks to the reader. Selection media and design of course has been the focus of research for more than 30 years (Anderson, 2003). Especially with the advanced technologies such as simulations and se cond life give learners flexibility to customize the content as they wish. As a result, learner content interaction becomes from teacher leaner interaction (2003). Howev er, automated systems are expensive to design and not very common in online education yet. Synchronous and Asynchronous Modes of Interaction In 1995, Kearsley made a distinction between real time (synchronous) and delayed time (asynchronous) interaction. Th is distinction for interactions is important as ( Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004 p. 362 ) Asynchronous interaction is mostly text based. Some examples of asynchronous CMC tools m ay include listserv, blog, wiki, email, and discussion board. With new improvements on these technologies, users can record their voice or a short video to attach a in their posts (e.g. voice mail in Gmail and Blackboard discussion board). Kearsley (199 5) emphasized that the concept of interaction in distance education is more complicated than it is in face to face learning environment because online interaction has to be distinguished according to content versus teacher versus learner, synchronous versu s asynchronous, and according to learner characteristics. Learner
85 differences such as age, personality, and learning styles may interfere with the type and mode of interaction they prefer and feel more comfortable ( Gunawardena & McIsaac, 2004 ) Asynchron ous interaction is the most common type of interaction in distance education as well as the mostly studied in research (Swan, 2002; Stein, Wanstreet,, Glazer, Engle, Harris, Johnston, Simons,. & Trinko, 2007 ; Wang, 2008; Wang & Hsu, 2008 ). The a synchronous mode affords learners time for flexibility and control. Students have time to reflect on what they read and then respond accordingly which may augment critical thinking However, when other students do not participate in a timely manner or learners do n ot get immediate feedback, they may get frustrated and loss their motivation ( Branon & Essex, 2001 ) Synchronous interaction, o n the other hand, is immediate. It is especially a sense of excitement and spontaneity that is not p resent with delayed interaction (Gunawardena, & McIsaac, 2004, p. 362). Researchers often suggest synchronous communication for promoting social interaction and community building while asynchronous interaction for content delivery and enrichment ( Park & Bonk 2007 ; Ellis & Romano, 2008; Im & Lee, 2003; Haythornthwaite, Kazmer, Robins, &Shoemaker, 2004 ; Wang & N ewlin 200 2 ) However, asynchronous and synchronous interaction uses are not limited with these. A well designed course with proper selection of b o th synchronous and asynchronous interaction s is necessary for effective distance education ( Branon & Essex, 2001; Wang & Newlin, 200 2 Hegngi, 1998; Schullo, 2005; McInnerney, & Roberts, 2004) Advocators of synchronous interactions, Wang and Newlin (200 2 think of asynchronous communication as the "backbone and muscle" for
86 course content, online chats are the "heart and hustle" of our Web In a synchronous element of courses can be seen as the instructor (p. 60). Indeed, feelings of isolation from instr uctor and classmates, which results in a lack of sense of community or belonging to a class is one of the major problems facing distance educators and learners ( Rovai & Lucking, 2003; Galusha, 1997; Hara & Khling 1999; Kubala, 1998; Patton, 2008; Palloff & Pratt, 1999; Rovai & Ponton, 2005 ). R esearch revealed that in an online course where only a synchronous communication was used, learners could not feel their classmates as a feeling of isolation ( Tu &McIsaac, 2002 ; Branon & Esse x, 2001 ; Stodel, MacDonald & Thompson 2006 ) Further research is needed to investigate how synchronous interactions are implemented in online courses and how they are perceived by students in terms of community of inquiry and satisfaction. This study aims to focus on these areas. of asynchronous and synchronous communication tools were investigated (Branon & Essex, 2001). Findings suggested that instructors prefer asynchrono us discussions for depth, more thoughtful discussion; communicating with temporally diverse students; holding ongoing discussions where archiving is required; and allowing all and synchronous communication fo office hours, team decision making, brainstorming, community building and dealing with technical
87 The survey also i dentified limitations of both types of communication. Asynchronous discussion is associated with lack of immediate feedback, the infrequency of student participation necessity for longer period of time for discussion to grow, and feeling a sense of isolation. Similarly, limitations associated with synchronous discussion consist of difficulty in scheduling t he meeting for all students, moderating larg e scale interactions, lack of reflection time for students to participate and pressure of typ ing text messages for poor typists. Based on the findings, researchers recommended the following strategies for online instructors: While u sing synchronous tools: meet with smaller groups of students online provide frequent and multiple chat times allow a limited amount of "lurking" by students choose tools and procedures that facilitate moderation of online chats provide a specific protocol for online chats. While u sing asynchronous tools: have students work in teams provide feedback in summary form, rather than trying to respond to each individual posting provide students with a clear communication protocol have students provide peer feedback choose tools that provide posting notification provide clear requirements for posting and reading discussion entries.
88 Interactions in a blended format graduate course, Telecommunications for Instruction, involving seven students and one instructor were studied by Vrasidas and McIssac (1999). The first five weeks of the course was held face to face and the remaining of the semester included online format for 7 weeks and face to face meetings for 4 weeks. During the last three weeks of the course, the researchers interviewed the instructor and participants regarding their perceptions of interaction during the course. instructor and students. Several factors influencing interactions in the online course were identified. First, structural elements influenced interaction. For instance, required aspects of the course led to more interactions while heavy course load led to less interaction. Students also complained about asynchronous discussions for being busywork and for not getting enough feedback from the instructor. Second, small class size (2 facilitators and 5 participants) appeared to reduce interactions, particularly asynchronous online discussions Third, students indicated that more feedback from the instructor would have increased interaction. Finally, students who had no previous experience in CMC were uncomfortable participating in the online synchronous discussions. These students were more co mfortable with the asynchronous discussions because they were able to reflect upon their ideas and responses. The researchers concluded that students needed training on the use of Internet customs, such as emoticons and netiquette. They recommended that, a t the beginning of an online course, a survey of the students should be conducted to ascertain those students who will require more technical training and support. Moreover, class size and instructor feedback need to be carefully planned. Face to face inte ractions can be organized at the beginning of the semester to meet the needs of socializing.
89 Although the course format was blended, the implications of the study are still insightful in terms of previous experience with CMC and immediate instructor feedba ck. A case study on online teaching and learning with the emphasis on synchronous and asynchronous interaction was conducted by Hegngi (1998). The study took place in one undergraduate and one graduate level online course offered in 5 week time period in summer session. Participants included three undergraduate and eight graduate students, two teachers and two teaching assistants. Three face to face and 2 synchronous text based chat meetings were scheduled in addition to asynchronous discussion forum. Elec tronic discourse was analyzed. Data were collected by interviews, field notes, course artifacts, online chat and e mail archives, and student Web pages. The study results revealed that instructor initiated synchronous interactions encouraged greater parti cipation than asynchronous discussions while asynchronous discussions were more open with a greater number of perspectives. Therefore, the study recommends the combination of synchronous and asynchronous communication in an online course. Other findings le d some insights into online teaching and learning as it: (a) facilitates writing and discussion assignments, (b) reshapes the roles of teachers and some students, (c) involves very labor intensive course design and development, and (d) allows emergence of new types of interactions. A comparative study on the effect of asynchronous audio communication (AAC) on student satisfaction, learning outcomes, student engagement, and perceived instructor presence was conducted across a 9 month period including a samp le of 156 graduate and undergraduate students from reading, health education, and family studies courses ( Oomen Early, Bold, Wiginton, Gallien, Anderson, 2008). Instructors participated in the
90 study used AAC to send at least 5 collective and two individual feedback to students throughout the semester. At the end of the semester, an online survey was administered to collect both qualitative and quantitative data. Descriptive, inferential, and qualitative data analyses were implemented. The results were promi sing in that AAC was perceived as instructor presence student engagement, course content knowledge, and the interaction between instructor and student. Students were able to get nuances in the audio feedbac k which was difficult to catch in text based communication. 80.2% of the students acknowledged that the audio feedback kept them engaged in the course content. 82.4% (129) of the students stated that the audio communication enhanced the instructor student relationship. In parallel to previous research by Richardson and Swan (200 3 ) audio communication was effective for online social presence. Research on Synchronous Interaction Park and Bonk (2007) investigated the synchronous learning experiences in an e ducational technology graduate course in a Midwest university. Twenty two distance learning students and 11 residential students from face to face section of the course participated in the study. Students of both sections were asked to use synchronous comm unication system Breeze (Adobe Connect Pro) for constructive peer feedback sessions at least for 4 times during the semester. Data came from open ended questionnaire, individual interviews with 4 distance and 4 residential students, course observations, co urse evaluations, and analyses of documents. Data analysis revealed the following categories and themes related to perceived advantages and disadvantages of synchronous critique interactions:
91 Perceived benefits: Immediate support and receiving diverse pe rspectives Feeling sense of social presence and connectivity Structural support and feedback from the instructor Learning strategies Perceived disadvantages: Time constraints and lack of refection time Network connection problems Breeze and audio to ol related problems Approximately 85% of both groups found synchronous communication beneficial. Immediate support, which is the most common discussed advantage of synchronous communication in literature, was apparent in this study as well. During the ea rly weeks of the semester students complained about feeling isolated and not as a member of a learning community, but these complaints disappeared when they were involved in synchronous discussions. They indicated that synchronous meetings provided verbal and tonal clues to clarify issues immediately, enhanced discussions, and mutual understanding and sense of community, which was important for their satisfaction and pos itive critiques. Despite these benefits, some disadvantages were reported too. Fixed one hour time constraint was a drawback for successful discussions and schedule problems. Students commented that it would be beneficial for reflection to receive some k nowledge
92 the synchronous meeting. Besides, network related problems included delays in file download, failing to display shared screen elements, noise and echo, and voice quality. For non native speakers, language barr ier was more challenging than face to face communication because of absence of non verbal cues and technical audio problems. perceptions of synchronous and asynchronous inter action. More specifically, research focused on Quality and quantity of student student and student instructor interactions Quality and q uantity of synchronous sessions during the course Quality of asynchronous sessions during the course Whether the learni ng community established between peers and the instructor had Data was collected through a survey over 3 semesters in 2 online educational technology course sections. Twenty three undergraduate and 24 graduate students particip ated in the study. A minimum of two synchronous sessions (university mandated) between peers had been used during course delivery via Horizon Wimba (LiveClassroom), chat, and instant messaging. The majority ( 8 0.4% n=37) believed that this number of synchr onous sessions were sufficient. Moreover, in structors were available to students via chat, telephone and texting. All students benefited from one type of synchronous meetings at least once while the majority contacted the instructor synchronously at least 3 times. Results indicated that 89.4% (n=42) felt that the number of synchronous sessions with the instructor was sufficient while 10.6% (n=5) disagreed
93 and found it challenging Finally, 82.9% (n=29) believed that a learning community had been established and it had met their expectation, either partially or totally Pearson correlations showed significant positive correlations Those who were satisfied with the quality of interaction with instructor also believed that a learning community during the cou rse was established. S imilarly those who were satisfied with the quality of interactions with peers stated that their e xpectation regarding the establishment of a learning community was met. This study highlight ed that q uality interaction with peers and t he instructor is crucial for building an online learning community. Type of interaction has to be determined based on student needs and course objectives According to t he authors the establishment of a learning community has more to do with the quality o f interaction with peers and instructor than does quantity or frequency of interactions Although study provided valuable information on interaction and online community of learning the qualitative data was not detailed and rich enough to resp ond the research questions. More open ended questions and interviews would enhance the findings. The information about the setting, design and content of the course is lacking. It would be valuable to know what type of medium and how often it was used for synchronous sessions and w hich modality was preferred most and for what purposes they were used In another study on synchronous communication, Yamada and Akahori (2007) investigate d the effect of different types of synchronous communication s ved consciousness of social presence; perceived consciousness of language learning in
94 37). An experimental study design was conducted with 9 female and 31 male university students who were non native English speakers and had approximately the same language proficiency level participated in the study. P articipants did not have any previous relationship and were randomly divided into four groups according to the tool used: (1 ) video conferencing, (2) audio conferencing, (3) text chat with image, and (4) text chat without image. Each participant was placed in a separate room for a 15 minute task based discussions on the same topic. P articipants took a six point rating scale que stionnaire at the end of the experiment. T he results revealed that for promoting The voice without the image revealed no significant effect on consciousness of presenc e, yet there was an interaction effect between the use of voice and the presence of the within the video chat rather than audio chat because the non verbal clues prese nt in the video format helped their understanding. They also were more comfortable in text based chat rather than audio chat because of listening and speaking skills required in audio format. In text chat they had time to think and formulate their sentence s. In addition, video conferencing was the most effective medium in terms of language productive of communication enabling the use of non verbal communication devices s uch as laughing and nodding, which might have led to increase in motivation and communication. These findings provide valuable insights to online instructors to implement certain pedagogical strategies. For example, instructors would better post their pho tos to course
95 site and provide a welcoming atmosphere. Studies highlighted the importance of people to have successful online learning. Furthermore, we can infer fr om this study that implementing different communication tools and balancing asynchronous and synchronous communication are important strategies because different media have different effects on students and learning. However, it should be underlined that e ffective online learning is not only influenced by what tools are used, but rather how these tools are implemented effectively to serve the needs of the learners and course objectives. In her dissertation Schullo (2005) investigated instructor strategie s pedagogical strategies of instructors using Elluminate Live and perspectives of instructors and students towards this medium. Because the same tool is also the focus of this proposed study and because strategies are important for teaching presence I wil l elaborate on this study Framed within Transactional Distance theory social learning theories, tool use and pedagogical strategy success the research design was a m ultiple qualitative case study with a total of five graduate level classrooms in the dep artments of nursing, education, engineering, and library and information science O ne of the cases was a blended course while another case involved a mixture of on campus and distance students. The other three cases were totally online courses The data we re collected through surveys, interviews, focus groups, analysis of archival documents and observations of live or archived three synchronous session s in each course The overall results highlighted that i nstructors used familiar strategies based on their experience and teaching styles. T he most successful strategies were identified as follow (p. 242) : Mini lectures combined with interactive exercises
96 Structured group work Case study discussions Polling, quizzing and student interactions Dissemination of e lectronic content for immediate discussion, feedback or problem solving Reinforcement of ideas, concepts and knowledge Collaborative exercises Question and answer sessions Instructors implemented the collaborative tools of the Elluminate Live which made t he sessions active. They valued VoIP and text based chat tools which improved student to student and instructor student interactions. Three of the 5 instructors used Elluminate only 3 or 4 times during the semester while the other 2 used it regularly. Howe ver, they all implemented the similar strategies throughout the semester including VOIP, textual chat, whiteboard, hand raising emoticons, and breakout ro oms. Because the observation instrument did not have enough parameters, differences between classes w ere not identified in this study The following list demonstrates the tools of Elluminate Live that the instructors used to enhance their current asynchronous courses (p. 242 243): Increase interaction using audio and interactive tools such as hand raising polling and emoticons Increase two way dialog using both two way audio and textual chat Add immediacy and feedback channels using tools such as emoticons and hand raising in conjunction with audio and chat
97 Increase student comprehension using planned exe rcises, web content, questions and answer sessions and often breakout rooms Conduct more natural discussion using the audio feature of the system over the use of textual chat Connect to students and have students connect to each other by offering multiple channels for communication in real time Group work using breakout rooms and the communication tools available in the system The end of the semester s urvey revealed that instructors were satisfied (n=2) or strongly satisfied (n=3) with Elluminate Live expe rience. All of the instructors stated that they planned to continue to use a SWBCS in the future. One of the survey items is students as a result of using Elluminate For this statement, one instructor chose dissatisfied, one satisfied and 2 strongly satisfied. A significant comment valuable than I had anticipated to student (p. 233). Such a glimpse of finding supports further analysis of synchronous communications through the lens of community of inquiry framework. The majority of the students were satisfied with their E lluminate Live experience. They had positive perceptions about the effect of the SWBCS on academic and social interactions in the class. They believed it was high quality and very useful, and provided more opportunities for connections. Some of the challen ges faced by instructors and students included technical problems with downloading the software, issues with
98 microphone, and scheduling the live sessions However, since 2005, Elluminate Live has been updated and some of these technical challenges are no l onger felt. I have not observed any software downloading or microphone issues since Elluminate Live was incorporated into Blackboard Thus, further studies on Elluminate Live will yield new interesting results. ) study by conducting a multiple case study to investigate instructional strategies that promote learning centered synchronous interactions in Elluminate Live. Guided by transactional distance theory, this study used qualitative approach and data were coll ected including interviews, observation, The Delphi consensus results (with 13 instructors) for the instructional strategies to promote online learning centered, synchronous dialogue matched th ose discussed in literature. These strategies, which mediate the effects of transactional distance, are as follows: Building social presence (casual language, humor, rapport building and/or greetings) Respect diverse talents and perspectives Facilitate dis cussion Assign group work Emphasize time on task Provide feedback Three instructors and their courses were chosen for the case study. Instructors and selected students were interviewed for further data. Results indicated that the main tools
99 used in Ellumi nate Live were VoIp, text chat, and whiteboard. The selection of tools to use was related to several reasons: (a) they were relatively simple to use by instructors and students, (b) they met the presentation needs, and (c) they allowed for immediate dialog ue. All 3 instructors used these strategies: Establishment of social presence by use of casual language and humor Provision of opportunities for discussion Respect for diverse talents and ways of learning Reinforcement of ideas, concepts,& knowledge Commu nication of high expectations Provision of feedback educational philosophy/ style, and (c) providing an additional option for both instructor student and student student dialogue. Two of the three instructors participated in the study perceived SWBCS effective for implementing instructional strategies to promote dialogue. The instructor who did not perceive SWBCS effective had technical problems. This study was significa nt in that it provided detailed insight into the use of strategies and explains why and how instructors use them. Using strategies on Elluminate Live to establish social presence by all three instructors adds emphasis onto the significance of social presen ce and how Elluminate may promote this goal. However, because the focus of the study was not on community building and social presence, the proposed study is significant with its purpose and approach.
100 Summary of Research on Synchronous Interaction Althou gh none of the studies reviewed here focused on synchronous communications and community of inquiry, this review of literature has provided valuable information on interactions, types and modes of interaction, how they relate to student learning, satisfact ion, a sense of presence, and effective pedagogical strategies to implement asynchronous and synchronous interactions. In addition, the review of literature displays a handful of research methods, instruments, and most significantly insightful findings, wh ich eventually helped me find the gap I planned to pursue in this study. Moreover, as an instructor, I think I have been influenced by this review of literature. The pedagogical recommendations and findings in the literature guide my teaching, which direct ly has an influence on the study as teaching presence is one of the elements of the Community of Inquiry framework. In short, to provide opportunities for high quality of learning, distance education programs need to incorporate all of the four types of i nteractions as well as both asynchronous and synchronous modes Research on Online Community of Learning Online community building and community of learning issues have drawn considerable attention from researchers (Kerr, 2004). Studies have focused on v arious ; ( Mandernach, Gonzales, & Garrett, 2006 ; Rovai, 2001 ), the effect of anonymity of the members (Turkle, 1995), peer interaction (Burgstahler & Cronheim, 2001 ; Moisey Neu, & Cleveland Innes, 2008 ; Stodel, MacDonald & Thompson 2006 ), student and teacher interaction ( Bloomberg, 2007 ), student satisfaction and perceived learning ( Akyol &
101 Garrison 2008 ), creating instruments for measurement of sense of community ( Ice, Ar baugh, Diaz, Garrison, Richardson, Shea, & Swan 2007; Rovai, 2002) use of new technologies ( Bloomberg, 2007 ; Dickey 2004 ; Stein, et al., 2007 ) strategies to build community of inquiry (Dickey, 2004) In the Department of Teacher Education at Miami Uni versity, over a span of two years, 30 40% of the end of semester course evaluation surveys included comments of feelings of alienation, isolation and frustration in the online course, entitled Integrating Technology and Education Practicum ( Dicke y 2004) Several strategies were implemented to prevent such negative feelings, including discussion groups for small group learning communities, optional email list, and blogs. However, c reating a learning community and eliminating the sense of isolation was not successful. In the fall 2003 semester the use of blogs was implemented for small group learning communities. An exploratory case study was conducted to investigate the impact of blogs on K 12 isolation and alienation. Previous to this course, students had taken two technology related courses. This course was also offered as face to face Student who enrolled in the online se ction had a chance to attend a face to face orientation if they wanted. The course design was based on constructivist learning theories The instructor grouped learners according to their academic programs in order to promote a sense of community. Learning communities varied in size, from 2 to 6 students. Each group had their own communal blog where they could express their feelings and thoughts and communicate and collaborate with each other. They were asked to post reflections to course content each week. No additional discussion board or email list was used, but instructor infrequently sent emails to the class. A total of 111 preservice
102 teacher s from 12 programs took the end of course evaluation survey. Fifteen students volunteered for informal interviews and 36 students responded email interviews. To support trustworthiness a activities and negative case samples. Analysis of blog posts showed that students not only used the blog to meet assignment reflections, but also they used to socialize with their group members. Towar ds the due dates, students expressed their problems, frustrations, nervousness, time constraints, and work overload. After the project was submitted, expressions of satisfaction, pleasure and excitement were observed in the posts. Interviews reinforced tha t blogs reduced the feeling of isolation. Some sample statements I t we became friends ; (p. 287). Although in the course evaluations, feelings of isolation and alienation were not sought, unlike in previous semesters, there was not any student comment related to such feelings. Two negative cases were reported. One student stated that she beli eved that the friendliness in the blog was not real. She felt ignored by other members. Another student had similar points. She thought her group members did not support her. Her request for help went unnoticed. In summary the study revealed: The use of b logs as a discourse tool for small group learning communities supported the emergence of community by affording students opportunities to socialize, interact and enter into dialogue, seek support and assistance, and express feelings and emotions. This in t urn helped bridge or prevent feelings of isolation. (p. 279)
103 Although a similar course design and tools were used in previous semesters, expected building of community learning did not take place. Dickey argued that it might be because blogs are relativel y new and very popular tool for the students. In addition to its novelty effect, some students may already maintain their own personal blogs for social discussion board s and email lists were commonly used in other courses students take. Therefore, they might have lost their novelty effect. M edia do not have a direct impact on the dynamics of an online learning community, but interplay betw een content, the instructor and the l Dickey 2004 p. 289). This study highlights that there is a need for further studies investigating the use of and impact of the affordances of new technological tools on discourse and interaction in online le arning environments. In a recent study of 2036 participants from the SUNY Learning Network Shea (2006) focused on empirical verification of the dimensionality of the teaching presence ( design and organization, facilitating discourse, and direct instruct ion ) and its relation with The factorial analysis to measure the three dimensions of teaching presence produced a two factor solution which he termed as i nstructional design and organization and directed facilitation. Direct instruction was merged with facilitation of discourse to form Directed Facilitation. In relation to teaching presence, regression analysis yielded that when students reported effective instructional teaching presence section of the instrument, they were more likely to report higher levels of learning community, as measured by the Classroom Community Scale (p. 41). The
104 results revealed that directed facilitation con tribute d more to the regression equation than effective instructional design and organization In other words, active presence of the instructor in terms of facilitating and guid ing the discourse is valued more by students for sense of connectedness and le arning. (2006) two dimensions of teaching presence, a number of studies gave support to 3 dimensions of teaching presence ( Arbaugh & Hwang, 2006; LaPointe & Gunawardena, 2004; Stein, Wanstreet, Calvin, Overtoom, & Wheaton, 2005). Using esse ntially the same instrument as Shea (2006), Arbaugh and Hwang (2006) assessed the construct validity of the 3 dimensions of teaching presence in a study with a sample of 191 MBA students. The confirmatory factor analysis validated these 3 constructs. In hi s analysis of the discrepancy in the dimensions of teaching presence, Garrison and Arbaugh (2007) argued that because the data came from student survey, it might be to differentiate betwee n direct instructio n and facilitation of discourse. Another explanation includes the possibility of high correlations among the components of teaching presence as well as the I context Very recently, the final addition to these arguments has been made by Shea and Bidjerano (2009 ) Basically, in their study they proved 3 categories of teaching presence and provided recommendations for instrument modification. I n order to valid ate an instrument designed to measure 3 elements of CoI framework and assess its value in online educational settings, a sample of 2159 students were selected randomly from a multi institutional fully online learning network. The factorial analysis pointed out that the items fit into interpretable factors that represent the intended constructs. In addition,
105 cognitive presence can be predicted based on their perceptions of fostering teaching and social presence skills. Students who strongly agreed with the item, levels of cognitive presence. The second social presen ce item as a strong predictor of cognitive presence was related to sense of belonging: participants Moreover, it was observed that the social presence development depends on the est ablishment of teaching presence. The findings are congruent with the CoI framework predictions. For future research, it is recommended to make modification in the study instrument to distinguish direct instruction from the other components of teaching pres ence. Based on the ir study of direct instruction description by Shulman (1986 ; 1987 ) and Mishra and Koehler (2006), Shea and Bidjerano (2009, p. 552) suggest that direct instruction items are defined in regards to the ability to: 1. Provide valua ble analogies. 2. Offer useful illustrations. 3. Present helpful examples. 4. Conduct supportive demonstrations. 5. Supply clarifying explanations. Further strong empirical support for the CoI framework and its ability to predict both perceived learning and delivery medium satisfaction came from Arbaugh (2008). U sing a sample of 656 students from 55 online MBA courses, Arbaugh found that both teaching presence and cognitive presence are significantly and positively correlated with
106 perceived learning which support s th e previous research and CoI framework (Arbaugh, 2007; Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007; Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005). Social presence was also positively correlat ed with perceived student learning however it was more associated with delivery medium satisfact ion. Compared to delivery medium satisfaction, teaching presence was a much stronger predictor of perceived learning. Cognitive presence was a strong p redictor of perceived learning, but it was not a significant predictor of delivery medium satisfaction T he study emphasized the critical role of the instructor once again. By focusing on student characteristics as well, the study acknowledged the significant role of delivery are critical factors for online course designs. Otherwise, it would cause a lot of time to learn how to use it and less experienced students may get frustrated. In the study, a new course management system was in use during the data collection semester. This might have affected the correlational results dealing with medium satisfaction and other elements. Another factor that needs attention is that although participants were from online MBA courses, the program was blended, that is students were also taking co urses on campus. Arbaugh listed this factor as one of the limitations, however, we can suggest that further research should also to face relationships. This has been missing in CoI lite rature. Therefore, through qualitative inquiry, in this proposed study, previous relationships as well as any face to face meetings will be considered learning and th e use of videoconferencing (to connect with a partner course) Qualitative
107 case study methods were applied for data collection and analysis in an online course within the Jewish distance education environment Archived documents of student assignments, sel f reflection paper, and documents of contextual information pertaining to the distance learning program and the site were obtained. The survey administered to the whole population. Based on the survey results, a purposeful sample was selected for further d ata collection. A semi structured telephone interview was conducted with the faculty (10 out of 16) and the students (22 out of 110). A focus group of 6 students and 2 faculty members was selected for further exploration of emergent findings via videoconfe rencing. Findings revealed that even though not all students enter the program expecting to be a member of a learning community, by experience they all believed to be a member of a learning community where faculty and students have a role in creating and d eveloping the learning community. Faculty displayed different understandings of the a shared More than half of the faculty perceived themselve s as essential members of the learning community. Only 30% acknowledge the possibility of learning community without faculty intervention. Both student s and faculty identified challenges and strengths for creating learning community in distance education e nvironment. Most significant factors included peer support, diversity of the student, instructors, technology, monthly colloquium seminars, small group study, and face to face interaction with faculty. All the students acknowledged some changes in their kn owledge, skills, attitudes, and belief such as being open to new perspectives, appreciating collaborative learning and critical and reflective thinking. The results on the use of videoconferencing showed that students did not perceive the students at the o ther
108 sites as member s of their learning community. Although they were able to see and hear each other, perceived presence of others was missing. Because the researcher did not explain the context in detail, it is difficult to speculate the reason, however, one can assume that if the students in different sites had no previous contact before videoconferencing, it is highly probable that they could not connect with each other. Community building needs time and effort. In addition, the purpose and the design o f In short, a lthough the theoretical framework and the design of the study were described clearly, the research context was not explained in detail The researcher did not discuss what technologies were used in that particular course and how often the video conference meetings were established. These factors would be effective for the understanding and transferability of the findings. Fourteen instructors and 48 graduate level students participated in a survey study asking their perceptions about the challenges and critical elements of community in online classes ( Vesely, Bloom, & Sherlock, 2007) The results showed that both the students (85%) and instructors (100%) believe that community is very es sential for performing well and learning the course material. It was perceived that learning communities helped students achieve more through collaborative group work. In addition, having a structured, purposeful and supportive environment where members re spect, trust and support each other is critical for the learning community. Although both the students and instructors listed the same critical elements of for building online community, there were ranking differences. While students ranked the instructor modeling as the most important element, instructors ranked it fourth. Instructors ranked
109 the interaction and dialogue with colleagues as first while students ranked it fourth. To learning community, being self disciplined and having self initiative for participation were perceived as the second most important facto r by both students and instructors The third factor ranked by faculty and students was the importance of sufficient ti me for discussion and interaction because it takes more time to communicat e in an online course. Instructors noted the importance of ensuring all students consistently interact with one another and support each other through shared learning activities and collaborative group projects. Building community in online classes was perceived by the majority of participants as harder than in traditional classes due to 3 themes: communication, time and participation. Communication theme involved lack of verbal and nonverbal cues and immediate feedback in online communication. Time spent on reading and responding did not give chance for informal sharing. Third, participation requires self discipline in online courses. Only 11% of students and 21% of instructors perce ived that building an online learning community could be less challenging because (a) ease of communicating with the whole class and instructor simultaneously, (b) flexible time schedule, (c) time for more thought and deliberation leading to in depth discu ssions, and (d) chance for more equal participation among students. Implications of the study highlight critical strategies for instructors and course design. In alignment with previous research ( Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000 ; Mander n ach, Gonzales, & Garrett, 2006), even in collaborative environment, students still want to experience teacher presence. As previously suggested by researchers this study also recommend s that instructor should provide leadership, guidance, and timely
110 feedback, model parti cipation in class discussions, facilitate sharing and participation, and be available for course and personal concerns via email, chat rooms, and discussion board. Finally, the significance of 3 immediacy types (interaction types) were enunciated; Incorpo rating these features into the online classroom serve as incentives for class members to both feel and act as members of a community Vesely, et al. 2007 p. 243 ) A quantitative study involving 40 graduate level students was also conducted to investigat e the relationship between community building and computer mediated communication (CMC) which was particularly asynchronous discussion groups (Moisey, Neu, & Cleveland Innes, 2008). Rovai's (2002) Classroom Cohesion Scale (CCS) questionnaire was administer ed to the students at the end of the course in 4 semesters. CCS consists of two subscales: Connectedness subscale and Learning community subscale. Connectedness subscale covers sense of trust, interdependence, and social presence. Learning community subsca le indicates students' feelings of shared values, beliefs, learning goals and expectations, and the sense of collaboratively constructing knowledge. The sum of the Connectedness and the Learning Community subscale scores provided the Classroom Community sc ore. Results showed significant positive correlations between community cohesion (both scales) and passive involvement such as reading discussion postings. Surprisingly, there was not a correlation between community cohesion and active CMC involvement su correlations were found between course satisfaction and community cohesion and both subscales and between program satisfaction and community cohesion (only the Connectedness sub scale). No significant difference was observed between the learners'
111 sense of Learning Community or Connectedness sub scales among the four classes. While number of classmates known prior to the course correlated with the both subscales, number of courses c ompleted in the students' program of studies did not correlate with any of the variables. Program satisfaction was found to be significantly correlated with Classroom Community and Connectedness, but not with Learning Community. Finally, there was no signi ficant correlation between participating in a collaborative group project and any other variables. It is noteworthy that none of the students did the project as a group in fall 2003 and fall 2004 while in w inter 2004, 3 out of 11 students chose to do the p roject as a group and in s pring 2004 all of the 8 students chose to the project as a group. The study could have investigated the effect of instructors and the course designs because 4 sections were taught by 3 different instructors and this might have aff preferences. Considering its correlational quantitative research design, the study is limited in terms of its small sample size (40 students from 4 classes over 4 academic semesters). In addition, the only data source was self reported end of semester questionnaire. Some students might have not been successful to recollect their all CMC activities accurately. Social presence was the focus of another study conducted by S wan and Shih (2005 ) in four online graduate classes in an educatio nal technology program Using a mixed method approach Swan and Shih investigated how social presence developed in instructor and of peers), and relationships between social presence and course satisfaction, perceived learning, and satisfaction with the instructor. Fifty one (out of 91) students took the end of questionnaire, which included 19 Likert type and 3 open ended
112 questions. Based on questionnaire analysis, 5 participa nts with the highest ratings and the five respondents with the lowest ratings of perceived social presence (combining social presence of peers and the instructor) were interview ed. In addition, the discussion postings of these students were coded for socia l presence indicators. Quantitative results showed strong correlations between social presence and satisfaction with online discussions supporting the previous findings of strong relationships among social presence and course satisfaction and perceived learning (Richardson & Swan, 2003) The findings revealed that perceived social presence of the instructor might be more dominant factor in determining satisfaction than the perceived presence of peers. Correlations also indicated that course design (desig n of discussion questions and tasks) might be significant for the development of social presence (Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005; Kanuka, Liam, & Laflamme, 2007; Meyer, 2004; Tu & McIsaac, 2002 ). Qualitative findings support ing the quantitative results indicated that students with the highest social presence used more social presence indicators to project their own social presence to their peers in the di scussions. Interview data showed that students with low social presence ratings adopted more formal style in their postings, and they did not peer interactions. important factor how th ey perceive online collaborative learning tasks, which finally affect their satisfaction with the instructor and course, and perceived learning. Research
113 on the community of inquiry, therefore, should use qualitative methods to depict insights into stude nt epistemological approaches and preferences. Akyol and Garrison (2008) investigated the development of community of inquiry satisfaction. Fifteen out of 16 students in a graduate level online course participated in this mixed method study which mostly quantitatively oriented with only qualitative analysis of 4 open ended survey question s. For social presence a 3X3 ANOVA with repeated measures analysis was done with th categories of social presence (affective expression, open communication and group time. Howe ver, there was a significant change in terms of categories of social presence. There was an increase in the percentage of group cohesion indicators while a decrease in the affective expression category over time. The explicit personal recognition dropped b y discussed two possible reasons for this finding. First, collaboration depends more on identity with a group and its objectives and less on individuals. Second, the nature of the online discussion board might have positive effect on group cohesion as previous research showed the effect of different technology on social presence ( Lomicka, & Lord, 2007; Nippard, & Murphy, 2007) For transcript analysis of cognitive presence, c oding categories were the triggering event, exploration, integration and resolution. Resolution category was observed the least, which was explained by the fact that students were not required to
114 apply their final project and share the results with the cla ss. Postings related to resolution category were also noted as few in previous studies (Meyer, 200 4 ; Murphy, 2004; Vaughan, & Garrison, 2005) The integration phase was found to be the most common coded category of messages. The results revealed that categ ories of cognitive presence were significantly different from each other, but there was neither any significant time effect nor time by category interaction effect. Teaching presence analysis results did not show a significant time effect, but categories ( design and organization, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction ) significantly varied from each other. Direct instruction was the only category that changed significantly over time. It seemed reasonable to observe that the design and organization category was the least of all because these activities generally take place before a course begins. In addition, the simple effect analysis also showed a significant variation among categories across the three time phases. Facilitation was the highest duri ng first and second time segments and dropped in the last time frame. This drop in encouragement and support during the first three weeks to express their ideas and the n as they began to understand the expectations of online discussion, the need decreased and discussions, by time students became more confident in providing direct instr uction, (p. 17).
115 No significant time effect on community of inquiry as a whole was observed. There was a significant category effect and a significant time and element effect. Each three presence was significantly distinct from each other for each 3 time segments. However, they did not differ over time. Both teaching presence and cogn i tive presence correlated positively with per ceived learning and satisfaction while social presence correlated with only satisfaction In addition, there was a positive correlation between teaching presence and cognitive presence. Students believe d arn more when they perceive sufficient ended survey questions supported the quantitative results. Most of the students stressed the effect of teaching and cognitive presence on their learning. Only two students emphasized the importance of all three presences for meaningful learning. Most students found sense of community effective for their learning. Results signify that teaching presence has an important role ( Garrison, & Arbaugh, 2007; Shea, Pickett &Pelz, 2003; Shea, Li & Pickett. 2006). However, Akyol, & Garrison, 2008. p. 17) Unlike Swan an presence and perceived learning. The study only included one closed ended survey item to measure perceived learning and satisfaction. This affects the credibility and transferabi lity of the study. The study is also limited with its number of participants (n=15) for statistical correlational analyses. Another point that takes attention is the analysis of teaching presence B ecause
116 researchers did not separate the instructor posting s from students it does not shed light on the role of teacher For example, for direct instruction category, one would expect to learn how much of the postings were made by the instructor and how this affected the students. Face to face (F2F) meetings ar e not always possible in a totally online course because of the geographical distribution of the instructor and the learners. However, as an online instructor, I have observed that if geographically and strategically available, some students prefer to meet F2F as a group even though they are equipped with necessary tools and skills for synchronous meetings. Sometimes these groups are successful, but sometimes they encounter group dynamics problems is not compatible with the other m being isolated. This disturbs group cohesion and success. In addition, F2F meetings prevent the teacher from observing actual group discussions though students submit a detailed meeting log. Similar to my experience, Stodel, MacDonald and Thompson (2006) observed that some of their students state d that they miss ed F2F contact. In order to understand program, they conducted a qualitative study. The class had F2F three hour meeting for the first of the 13 units in the course. F2F meeting was also available during the second unit for those who wanted it. During the rest of the units F2F meeting was not available. The course impl emented discussion board and text based chat sessions. At the end of the semester, students reflected on their experience and course in the discussion board. Eleven out of 23 students stated they missed and/or preferred more F2F
117 contact. In depth semi stru ctured interviews were conducted with 10 of these students. Five themes emerged from the data analysis: (a) robustness of online dialogue, (b) spontaneity and improvisation, (c) perceiving and being perceived by the other, (d) getting to know others, and ( e) learning to be an online learner. Participants reported that compared to F2F meeting, their online meeting lacked non verbal cues and spontaneity In addition, they reported poor quality of some of the discussions, difficulty of typing instead of speaki ng their ideas missing humor and emotion. Some liked the self paced flow of discussion boards which they believed led more reflective discussions and the ability to review anytime they needed. Some learners stated they would prefer more synchronous commun ications for spontaneous feedback and collaboration. One learner complained that the chat program did not have audio option. About how they perceived other learners and how they felt to be perceived by others, students commented the lack of real person pic ture in the discussions. Although they created learner pages where they introduce themselves, some did not post their picture and this comment shows how important for some to visualize the owner of the posts. Students had different thoughts about getting t o know others and feeling a sense of community. One learner stated that her group members met F2F only a few times, which she believed was not enough to develop a social relationship. However, another learner who never met the group F2F developed a very cl ose friendship with one of the group members. All participants felt a sense of community between and among the learners and professors. Feelings of cared, supported and encouraged in their learning were reported. Regarding the relationship between learners and the professors, mixed feelings were observe d. Some thought they
118 conversations generally available in F2F courses. Finally, some participants reported that they felt insecure with regards to their learning. Participation in discussion board was scary for one learner as he was afraid of be ing misunderstood. community of inquiry framework C ognitive presence which reflects acquisition of higher level knowledge and critical thinking was present in some of the discussions. Learners also engaged in critical thinking with their group members, within their reflections, assignments and in dialogue with colleagues outside the course. It was argued that cognitive presence may not be always assessed by what is present in the discussion forums because although students may be cognitively present, they may refrain from posting due to other reasons such a s being afraid of offending others, constructing texts that do not reflect their messages clearly, and exposing personal beliefs. Social presence was felt greater in the groups than for the whole class. It could be the result of more frequent interactions within the groups. Findings supported the social presence in Garrison et al.'s (2000) four categories of social presence: emotional expression, open communication, and group cohesion. Self was observed, however, there was lit tle evidence of other emotional expressions including humor and emoticons. Open communication was evident in the discussions njoyed by some learners because they did not feel that added to discussions. The researchers commented on the link between cognitive and social presence and recommended that promoting social presence initially might be the precursor for cognitive presence, but challenging learners for high level
119 critical thinking is very critical to sustain cognitive presence. Regardless of the evidence some social presence in the course, some learners missed F2F contact while some complained that could not develop a connec tion with some learners because they were faceless as they did not post their photo. Authors reported that to enhance social presence triads, chat sessions, discussi on forums, a F2F orientation class, small class size, collaborative activities, promptly responding to emails and postings, sharing personal Teaching presence involves three indicators: design and organiza tion, facilitating discourse, and direct instruction, which all were followed in the course. Regarding the facilitation of discourse, it was noted that in each unit, one triad group was responsible to facilitate and summarize the discussions. The instructo rs participated only when there was a need for clarification. Findings showed that learners expect to see more instructor facilitation and presence for the discussions. In addition, although instructors provided some felt that they were not benefiting from than they do in F2F class. Finally, t he following pedagogical strategies for enhancing presence in online learning communities were suggested : 1. Create opportunities to enhance spontaneity and emergent design which is flexible and facilitative, and which involves the use of synchronous communic ation tools.
120 2. Coach learners how to learn online by being a role model, supportive, and facilitative, and providing constructive feedback. 3. Explore the use of diverse technologies for enhancing communication and social presence. Audio and video conferenci ng may be more effective to establish social presence and foster communications. Learners may be encouraged to interact F2F and/or synchronously online in an informal format. 4. Articulate and manage the expectations of the online community with the student s. 5. Understand all learners in online learning environments. Provide coping and adaptation strategies to those whose preferred learning medium is not online. The reported limitations of the communications in this course might be a result of the fact that t he communications were mostly asynchronous on discussion board and the synchronous communication was via only written chat. Student s might have felt differently if SWBCS had been used. The importance of using advanced technologies to enhance communication and collaboration was discussed by the researchers in their implications part of the article. The importance of these findings for the proposed study lies in the fact that some participants may prefer F2F meetings with their group members during the semest er This needs to be included in data collection because i t may influence their sense of community and it is also interesting to investigate what makes them prefer to meet F2F while they can use audio and/or video tools of G mail Chat or Elluminate Live, wh ich provide spontaneous interactions, archived documentation, document sharing and many other options.
121 One of the drawbacks of the study is that it d id not investigate which students had F2F meetings with their groups and which did not, and how this factor affected their perceptions. Another improvement needed in the data collection, which was based on solely the end of semester interview. Data triangulation would enrich the study findings as well as increase its trustworthiness. A follow up study to a pr eliminary investigation of teaching presence in the State University of New York Learning Network (SLN) was conducted by Shea, Pickett, and Pelz in 2003. Previously faculty went through a five month faculty development cycles. Recently, the faculty had tra ining on teaching presence, therefore the study focused on teaching presence and its relation to student satisfaction and learning. A web perceptions of teaching presence. The survey included a five point Likert type scale that asked students their level of agreement or disagreement to statements related to teaching presence. A total of 6088 students, about 31% of students enrolled in that semester, participated in the study. Survey results revealed that 85 % of the students showed high ratings for the instructional design and organization in their courses also tended to report high levels of satisfaction and learning. Approximately, 75% of respondents preferred effective discourse facilitation by the instructor while 69% agreed or strongly agreed with statements related to effective discourse facilitation by classmates. There was a significant correlation between instructor discourse facilitation and satisfaction and learning ratings. Although similar correlation was found between discourse facilitation by
122 classmates and satisfaction and learning, this was not as high. Regarding direct instruction, approxi mately 78% indicated that the instructor provided effective direct instruction while 65% agreed with this statement for the classmate direct instruction. Similarly, students who indicated high levels of effective instructor direct instruction also showed h igh leve ls of satisfaction and learning. However, the correlation between effective classmate direct instruction and satisfaction and learning was lower. The results were very similar to what found in previous studies, which supports the importance of in structional design and organization for effective online learning. The higher ratings for facilitation of discourse by instructor than classmates might be because traditionally students expect their instructor play the central role in teaching. Therefore, their expectations are higher for the instructor than for their classmates. However, play a role in teaching presence. A nother significant study was conducted by Nipp ard and Murphy (2007) to investigate how s ocial p resence was manifested on Elluminate Live class sessions by online high school students and instructors in Canada. Recordings of 12 Elluminate Live sessions from six distance education courses were analyzed according to social presence categories and indicators. Findings revealed that social presence was manifested as means of choice of specific tools, choice of communication conventions and digressions from the curriculum. In terms of choice of tools, it was found that students mainly used direct messaging tool of the Elluminate Live while instructors almost always relied on duplex audio. In addition, l were more informal, including symbols, ab breviations, letter combinations representing
123 specific words, and emoticons. On the other hand, teachers often used standard communication conventions. To express their emotion they changed their tone or volume of their voice. While use of audio required a more formalized approach such as turn taking or prompting by the teacher, the use of DM [direct messaging] allowed for more immediate responses conducive to immediate and spontaneous expressions of emotion Finally, social pr esence prospered when there was digression from the curriculum as students displayed much of their affective, cohesive and interactive responses in that context. Digression was spontaneous, but not planned by the instructors except for those at the beginni ng of the sessions. This study is particularly significant for the current research because it has been the only study identified applying a part of the CoI framework to synchronous class meetings. However, it is limited with relying only recording observ ations and not and not covering teaching and cognitive presences. Summary of Research on CoI This section has reviewed the previous research framed within the CoI. These studies identified correlations am ong 3 elements of the CoI, teaching, cognitive and social presence as well as correlations among them and perceived learning and satisfaction. Studies also focused on how these presences evolve over time and how students and faculty perceive them different ly. One of the common drawbacks of the previous research is that they only had one source of data, which are closed ended end of semester questionnaires. Mor eover, learning was operationali zed as p erceived learning and was investigated in only a few studie s. B oth learning and satisfaction are assessed
124 with only one or two self report survey items (Rourke & Kanuka, 2009) Therefore, data triangulation and robust qualitative study methodology are needed in further study. Furthermore, none of the studies inves tigated the use of synchronous systems and their relation to building and sustaining a community of inquiry with the focus on all three presences. Conclusion to Chapter 2 This chapter has reviewed literature pertaining to the Community of Inquiry framewo rk, which bases the theoretical foundation of this study. In order to provide a better understanding of the Community of Inquiry, this chapter also explicated several other key constructs which are interrelated and carry great importance for online learnin g. Figure 7 display s these constructs visually. It should be note d that the figure does not imply any causal and/or gradation relationships among these constructs. A short history of distance education has been discussed touching on influential learning theories of each era. As the CoI framework is rooted in social learning theories and social constructivism, the chapter also elucidated these theories and how they have influenced online distance learning. Interaction has been the core concept in review ed literature. Both theories and research studies reviewed in this chapter focus on interaction because learning occurs through dialogic interactions among learners, between instructor and learners, between learners and content and interface. It has been e mphasized that the majority of online courses solely use asynchronous interactions. It is suggested that synchronous communication tools, especially SWBCS, such as Elluminate Live, can provide tools that are effective to enhance an online community of inqu iry. Being a fairly recent theoretical
125 framework, the CoI has not been used to study synchronous interactions in an online community of learning. Therefore, this study investigated how two types of synchronous communication tools were implemented in an onl ine course and how these pedagogies influenced perceived satisfaction and community of inquiry that encompasses social, cognitive and teaching presences. Figure 7 A visual display of theoretical constructs for the study
126 This chapter provided a theoretical background for the study and highlighted research findings and gaps in literature. In the next chapter, the study design and method will be fully detailed.
127 CHAPTER THREE : METHODOLOGY Overview This chapter discuss es the met hodology of the inquiry used in this study T he study setting, data collection procedures and instruments as well as data analysis plan and strategies will be explained in detail. Framed within the Community of Inquiry (CoI) framework, the study sought t o answer the following questions: Overarching question: How does the use of synchronous communication tools mediate the community of inquiry in an online pre service ESOL course? 1. How does the use of Instant Messenger (IM), Gmail Chat (for extended virtual office hour) mediate the community of inquiry? 1.1. How does the use of IM mediate social presence? 1.2. How does the use of IM mediate cognitive presence? 1.3. How does the use of IM mediate teacher presence? 1.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of IM in ter ms of course satisfaction? 2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate the community of inquiry ? 2.1. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate social presence? 2.2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate cognitive presence? 2.3. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate teacher presence?
128 2.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of a SWBCS in terms of course satisfaction?) The Setting and Participants of the Study The Setting ESOL teacher education has gained increa sed attention from the policy makers and teacher educators because of the outgrowth in English language learner (ELL) numbers and their unique needs (Walker, Ranney & Fortune, 2005). Florida is the third leading state in ELL population. 2006 2007 AALA (Of fice of Academic Achievement through Language Acquisition) stati stics report the number of E nglish learners in Florida as 230, 890, which equals 11% of the current K 12 student population in the public schools in Florida. The increasing number of ELL studen ts has implications for public them equal access to all educational programs, in 1990, the Florida Consent Decree was signed between META (Multicultural Education and Tr aining Advocacy), and the Florida State Board of Education (SBE), resulting from a proposed law suit, LULAC (League of United Latin American Citizens ) et al. v. United States Court of the Southern District. The Consent Decree mandates all Florida teachers who have ELL in their class receive ESOL training and details the requirements and standards for personnel delivering ESOL instruction. Elementary school teachers, secondary language arts teachers, and special education classroom teachers are required to t ake 300 in service hours of ESOL training, or 15 college credits of ESOL education courses. A state approved ESOL endorsement program should cover these areas: (a) methods of teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESOL), (b) ESOL curriculum and m aterials
129 development, (c) cross cultural communication and understanding, (d) testing and evaluation of ES OL, and (e) applied linguistics Secondary teachers are required to take 60 in service hours of ESOL training, or three college credits of ESOL educati on courses. This research study took place at a metropolitan, public, research oriented university in southeastern U.S. At this university the ESOL endorsement is provided by infusion method, which co nsists of three ESOL courses, infusion of ESOL method ology completion of an ESOL portfolio by each student. In the spring 200 9 semester, 21 ESOL courses wer e offered at the College of Education on the main campus 12 of which were offered face to face and 9 were online. The demand for online sections has been great in the ESOL endorsement program Each semester online sections fill up very quickly as soon as registration starts. It is stated on the university website that over 70,000 enrollments in over 1,700 distance learning course sections annually are served. Statistical t rends of our university show a steady increase in the number of online courses offered each year as depicted in Figure 8 Both undergraduate and graduate enrollment increased by 2.4 times in 5 academic years. In 2007, two new online programs for ESOL teacher education opened: M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction with Specialization in TESOL Education and ESOL Endorsement Specialization Courses for pre and inservice teachers, which can lead to a Graduate Certificate in ESOL and/or credit toward this M.Ed. degree. The demand and interest for these online programs has been high.
130 Figure 8 Five Year Distance Learning Enrollme nt Trend (USF Educational Outreach Distance Learning Trends PowerPoint Presentation, 2008, p.2). Language Principles and Acquisition Course The Language Principles and Acquisition course is the capstone course in the ESOL endorsement sequence for preservi ce English Education, Foreign Language Education/ESOL and Special Education majors In fall and spring semesters, it is offered both on campus and online. The course section that I was teaching and therefore wa s the research setting for this study wa s offe red as a totally online course via the Blackboard course management system including Elluminate Live Blackboard provides synchronous communication through text based chat, plus asynchronous tools such as email, class and group discussion board file shari ng, wiki, blog, co ntent presentation area, grade center group management and collaboration tools, survey, test, quiz, and exam builder. Except for the midterm exam day, the class d id not meet on campus. All interactions were via the Internet mostly async hronously (email, discussion board, and other tools available on Blackboard ) and 5 whole class synchronous meetings via 21,722 36,431 49,956 60,054 70,068 5,000 15,000 25,000 35,000 45,000 55,000 65,000 75,000 2002-03 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08
131 Elluminate Live as well as student instructor chat meetings which we re mostly student initiated via Gma i l Chat. Instead of setting aside an office hour I use Gmail Chat to make myself available to my students for extended hours including evening hours and weekends. As a heavy computer user, I am generally online for 6 to 10 hours daily. Last semester, many students contacted me frequently through Gmail Chat. Compared to having no attendee at the schedule d office hours via Elluminate Live in earlier semester, using Gmail Chat wa s a better strategy In addition, students we re free to make an appointment to meet me on Gmail Chat or Elluminate Live anytime they want ed The aim of the Language Principles and Acquisition course is to introduce the components of language, and link them to methods and techniques of providing comprehensible instruction to English language learners in Florida (see A ppendix A for the course syllabus) More specifically, the course objectives include the following: 1. Students will demonstrate basic comprehension of the sub fields of Linguistics by defining, describing and applying to social and classroom context the d isciplines of: (a ) Phonology & Phonetics (b ) Morphology (c ) Semantics (d ) Syntax (e ) Discourse, Pragmatics, & Nonverbal Communication. 2. Students will apply their comprehension of the subfields of linguistics through: Analyzing authentic oral and wri tten language of English language learners (from videotaped and/or audio taped oral samples and samples of student writing) in class. Developing a case study describing an English language learner's linguistic competence.
132 3. Students will apply their kno wledge of linguistics and the second language acquisition process to developing, implementing, and evaluating appropriate instruction through: Developing lesson plans and assessment measures for a variety of topics with appropriate instructional modificat ions for English language learners Developing a case study describing an LEP student's literacy development. The course design supports collaborative learning, socio cultural theory and a socio constructivist approach. During the first week of the semest er, social presence begins to be established by the means of an online welcome message from the instructor, self introductions with photographs, and getting to know classmates in the e Caf open discussion forum built at Blackboard. As an instructor, I tak e an active role in posting messages and my photos. These social interactions help students form their groups (of 4 or 5 people). Sometimes some students already know each other because they are also on campus and/or cohort students. Such pre existing rela tionships promote bonding in online learning. Therefore, in survey 1, I asked students if they knew any of their classmates because it is important to understand if students started feeling social presence with their classmates or if they already had it fo r some members. This was one of the factors that I paid attention to during data collection. The course requirements cover numerous varied evaluation activities to support mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for effective teaching of ELL students. Course assignments included group and class discussions on given questions, quizzes, exercises, reflection papers on live meetings, ESOL modified lesson plans, Limited English Proficiency (LEP) Analysis case project, and a midterm exam The major
133 assignme nts on which students need to get at least 70% to pass are ESOL modified lesson plans, LEP Analysis case project, and the midterm exam. LEP Analysis which constituted 30% of the course grade, was a case study requiring a field trip to a school, finding an English language learner (ESL), interviewing the student and the classroom teacher, observing the class and the student at least for a day, and collecting data on academic performance, and lan guage skills ( writing samples and audio recordings of the interview and reading) This assignment involved analyses of developmental language patterns of their ESL student in phonology, morphology, semantic, syntax, discourse, non verbal communication, pra gmatics, and literacy. Students also needed to report on what opportunities their student receive (and do not receive) to develop these language skills in their classrooms, and what teaching activities and strategies they recommend to support their student each of these language areas Furthermore, students presented their projects at the last Elluminate meeting. They created PowerPoint documents and orally summarized their case study in an inter active way as t he students and I were asking questions, discussing certain topics in detail and commenting on the findings and teaching ideas. This live meeting provided students a great chance to gain immediate feedback on their projects and receive multiple perspective s through learning different case studies on different ESL students at various grade and language levels. The LEP Analysis can be considered to be at the resolution stage of the cognitive presence because students apply all the content studied in the cours e on analysis of a real case.
134 Group and whole class discussion participation wa s a very critical compon ent of the course, making up the 25% of the final grade. Student participation wa s graded in each section both qualitatively and quantitatively based on a comprehensive rubric which aims for timely, ongoing, inclusive, collaborative, meaningful and deep learning (see Appendix B). In each section of the course, there were class discussions on assigned questions based on section readings which covered both course documents and external links on Blackboard and textbook chapters. Starting from with section 2, discussions first took place within student group s first. Groups mostly used their group discussion board and only two groups used Gmail Chat and Ellumin ate Live twice In each section, a new member was the g roup summarizer who had to post their discussion summary to class discussion board by the given deadline. Then, for class discussions, each student needed comment on th em and respond any questions addressed to their own group summary The majority of the class discussions t ook place asynchronously on Blackboard discussion board forums. However, Elluminate Live wa s used for whole class discussion in section 6 for SLA theo ries. Groups were assigned with different SLA theories. They had two weeks to study given course materials and do external search if necessary and prepare a PowerPoint to present their theory to the class during the live meeting. They were required to make their presentations interactive by asking questions to the class and responding to any questions or comments. Other synchronous meetings were conducted for teacher content presentation, question answer sessions, group discussions, group presentations and review. These meetings are described in the follow ing section. Students who ha d to miss the scheduled meeting we re required to watch the recorded session and if the meeting involved active
135 student discussion and presentation, they need ed to accomplish them asynchronously on the discussion board. For each assignment, detailed rubrics, instructions, and samples we re posted on the course site. Scaffolding wa s encouraged with group work and formative and summative teacher feedback. Students we re advised to complete course projects (LEP analysis and ESOL modified lesson plan s ) in groups. If any student ha d a condition affect ing his/her group participation and preferred to work individually, accommodations we re provided ensuring that the same objectives we re met by him/her. To motivate participation in group discussions and projects and to ensure fair grading, students complete d a self and group evaluation form during the final section (see Appendix C). The average grade they receive d from these evaluations t o ok up of their participation grade. I have observed that s tudents always show very positive attitude towards self and group evaluation as reflected on the written comments in the form. The course content wa s divided into 7 sections, each of which wa s c overed in approximately two weeks. Table 8 depicts the course schedule with each section topics, activities, and assessment tasks by due dates. Table 8 Course Schedule Sections Assignments and Deadlines August 24 Mandatory Orientation: August 29 th 9 11am via Elluminate Live. Read o nline m aterials under Section 1 and the textbook Why TESOL? Pages 4 40.
136 September 11 Se ction 1 Why TESOL? Human Language, ESOL Binder, Lesson Plan, LEP Analysis September 7: Post your answers to d iscussion questions (given in Section 1 Introduction Letter). Read the discussion rubric before you submit discussion posts! Introduce yourself on e get to know each other and form groups. Form your groups and liaisons should email the name of the group, names of members and the names for summarizers in each section September 11: Class discussion participation: Comment on other posts in a way that leads a discussion and referencing reading materials or other so urces. Quiz 1 Modify the practice Lesson Plan and submit it to your group discussion board. Start planning your LEP Analysis Plan of Attack. September 12 25 Section 2 Phonology and Morphology Read Online Materials and Why TESOL? (New P 41 60, old 49 69); do exercises; work on your Lesson Plan 1 and LEP Plan of Attack September 21: Group d iscussion summary postings September 25: Class discussion participation LEP Plan of Attack Submit original Lesson Plans that you plan to modify for approval
137 Qui z 2 Practice exercises. Discuss with your group if you need September 26 October 9 Section 3 Syntax & Semantics Read online materials under secition 3 and Why TESOL? (P 61 76) October 5: Group Discussion summary postings October 9: Class discussion pa rticipation Quiz 3 Modified Lesson Plan 1 Practice exercises. Discuss with your group if you need. October 10 23 Section 4 Discourse and Pragmatics Read online materials under section 4 and Why TESOL? (P 77 118) October 16: Elluminate Meeting 2 Mi dterm Review Submit Elluminate Reflection 2 within 24 hours after the meeting October 19: Group discussion s ummaries October 23: Class discussion participation Quiz 4 Submit LEP analysis Part I October 24 No assigned chapter from the book. Online Materials only! October 31: M idterm Exam EDU 417; 9AM 12PM
138 November 6 Section 5 Literacy November 2: Group discussion summaries should be posted to Class Discussion by midnight November 6: discus sion and referencing reading materials or other sources. Discussion and participation ends by midnight. Submit modified Lesson plan 2 November 7 20 Section 6 First and Second Language Acquisition Read Why TESOL? (New P 121 187 Old P 146 226) Novembe r 16: Deadline for binder check. Make sure you check ESOL office hours before you go to the office. November 19: Quiz 5 Modified Lesson Plan 3 November 20: Elluminate Meeting 3 Groups present their SLA Theories Class discussions live & Submit your r eflection 3 within 24 hours after the meeting November 21 December 4 Read online materials under section 7 and Why TESOL? (P 189 223) Happy Thanksgiving December 1: Group discussion summaries should be posted to Class Discuss ion by
139 Section 7 Assessment midnight December 4: and referencing reading materials or other sources. Discussion and participation ends by midnight. Final week December 6: The LEP Analysis whole paper & LEP Analysis Presentation PowerPoint December 8 : Elluminate Meeting 4 LEP Analysis presentations Submit Reflection 4 within 24 hours after the live meeting December 11: Submit Self and group evaluation form Take the Survey 2 Chalk & Wire (Upload LEP and Lesson Plans) Check your grade center. Make sure you accomplish all major requirements for ESOL (at least 70% on midterm, lesson plans, LEP Analysis) My Role as a Researcher and Instructor I have been teaching online ESOL courses for four years now. My journey to becom ing an online instructor started with my doctoral study. I have taken instructional technology courses some of which were delivered totally online. Being an online student
140 in those courses has given me the opportunity to understand student perspectives and needs and how course design and technology are important for enhancing learning. In comparison of these courses, I have realized what factors have affected my learning and motivation. To begin with, I was most frustrated when the teacher provided little or no feedback and did not respond to my emails in a timely manner. When course objectives, assignments, and expectations were not clearly defined I felt confused Some courses were exceptionally well designed with clear and detailed cours e schedule, organized content, well defined objectives, and assignments as well as incorporating collaborative learning via group projects and class discussions, online tests, and El l uminate Live. Although I enjoyed being able to study on my own when and w here I wanted, c ollaborative groups made me feel connected with other students and enhanced my learning. availability and student instructor and student student interactions. I have le arned so much valuable information to improve my online teaching and realized that technology tools can certainly enhance learning when used effectively however, I must place instructional objectives foremost. Because I was fascinated with Elluminate Live I decide d to learn this tool to implement it effectively in my own online course I attended the university workshops and studied online demonstrations. Within a year, I added Elluminate Live class meetings to my course design In fall 2008, Elluminate Live was incorporated into the Blackboard Academic Suite TM which is the online course management system being used for online courses at the setting In previous versions of Blackboard only a written chat tool was available for synchronous meeting s wh ich was not appealing for use. Elluminate Live integrated in to
141 the course site offers a lot of flexibility and greater chance of use both by the students and the instructor at any time they wish. Before this update, instructors had to fill out an online fo rm to request Elluminate Live sessions. A session link and password for students to enroll in the session then had to be created and announced to students. The teacher did not have a timely opportunity for any modifications of the sessions It had to be th rough the technology support department. However, now instructors can create sessions anytime, see all s essions created on its calendar, and they can modify the session when need ed I believe these features will motivate more instructors and students to us e Elluminate Live to add real time communication and collaboration to their asynchronous online learning. My research interest comes from both finding little information in the related literature and from my teaching experience as havin g some informal obs ervation of student s initial and post reactions toward Elluminate Live. During mandatory orientations, as an instructor I introduce Elluminate Live to my students. So far, very few of my students have had previous experience with Elluminate Live. In terms pre perceptions towards synchronous communication, I have observed three types of student groups. The f irst group involves only a few students who show negative attitude s towards synchronous communication in an online course I recall a studen t saying that an online course needs to be only asynchronous so that it is flexible and does not require her to study at a certain time The second group is made of the students who are very eager to learn and use synchronous co mmunication tools and they are few in number as well. The third group is the largest of all and includes those who are neutral and do not
142 show any particular initial reaction At the end of their f irst Elluminate Live session, generally a few students send very positive comments about their experience. However, as an instructor who has a philosophy of teaching and learning grounded i n a socio constructivist, student centered, and collaborative learn ing and who believes in the value of creating an online learning community, I decided to pursue this study in order to find an answer to how synchronous communication may promote a community of inquiry This also made me wonder how students feel about sync hronous communications and how it influences their satisfaction with the course. Being the course instructor, I was deeply and passionately involved with the setting and participants. From a qualitative researcher perspective, I was aware of what advanta ges and disadvantages t he se dual roles of the r esearcher might have cause d In terms of limitation, I was aware that some s tudents m ight purposefully provide biased data to please me. However, during data analysis, I came to the conclusion that s tudents pr ovide d their genuine feelings and thoughts because thoughts and feelings they reported were not only positive They openly shared their negative thoughts or feelings critiqued the tasks and methodology and provided suggestions for improvement. In additi on, I was conscious that dual roles and pro longed engagement with the site and participants m ight obscure my view and lead to inadvertent biased assumptions ( Yin, 2003). Therefore, to alleviate this limitation and t o gather in depth and credible data I i mplement ed data triangulation peer debriefing, member checks, t hic k description of the setting and participants, and a self reflection protocol Moreover, I did not conceal any pedagogical shortcomings and problems we had experienced during the course. I believe as an instructor I always learn something new and find ways to improve
143 my teaching in every semester. Conducting this research gave me a greater chance to improve my pedagogy especially related to using synchronous t ools Thus, I that my instructor role affected my data analysis and interpretations On the contrary, I do believe that m y researcher/instructor role provide d more benefits than limitations. Teaching presence (one of the three elements in the Community of I nquiry framework) begins before a course starts. As I design ed and taught the course, I was able to observ e the research setting and participants constantly and tak e reflective notes systematically, which provide d me with a better understanding of the phenomenon, of the se tting and of the lived experiences of the participants. Research Design Investigating synchronous interactions and establishment of a community of inquiry in an online class over a semester requires an in depth study of the process and setting using multi ple methods and sources of data Qualitative study methods, particularly case study design serve best for this study because c ase studies are used to examine a specific unit such as an event, a program, an organization, and a time period in depth and deta il, in context, and holistically (Merriam, 1988; Patton, 199 0; Stake, 1995 ; Creswell, 1998). In addition, the context or place is an integral part of learning from sociocultural theory and community of inquiry framework perspective s therefore qualitative case study design is well suit ed to the study. Hoepfl (1997) synthesized a list of characteristics of a qualitative study based on the resources by Patton (1990), Eisner (1991), Bogdan and Biklen (19 98 ) and Lincoln and Guba (1985). These interconnected a nd mutually reinforcing characteristics are as follow :
144 1. T he natural setting is the source of data. The researcher observe, describe and interpret setting s as they are. 2. The researcher becomes the "human instrument" of data collection. 3. I nductive data analysis is predominant. 4. R eports are descriptive and reflect expressive language and first person pronouns 5. Qualitative research is interpretive and descriptive in nature, and aims for discovering the meaning pective 6. Qualitative researcher focus es on to the idiosyncratic as well as the pervasive, seeking the uniqueness of each case 7. The design of the study is emergent focus is both on process and the outcomes. 8. Quality and rigor of the q uali tative research is assessed by special criteria for trustworthiness ( which will be discussed later in this chapter) These characteristics match well with the nature of this study. The source of the data came from a natural setting, an online classroom. I collection as data were mediated by me as I observed the classroom and participants, read their reflections and listened to what they reported. Although I had a preexisting framework, data analysis was inductive to involv e emerging categories. Having an existing theoretical framework did not restrict the study, instead it provided a direction and boundary for the study. I used a descriptive and reflective style to report the study. Because they add voice and reflect the ph enomenon naturally, direct quotations from the participants and use of first person pronouns were commonly used.
145 Stake (199 5; 2005) identified three types of case studies: Intrinsic : ng of this particular case case itself is of interest Instrumental : provid e insight into an issue or to redraw a or to improve a theory. U nderstanding the complexities of the case is of seco ndary Collective : A number of cases are studie d jointly in order to investigate a phenomenon, p opulation or general condition. This type is of ten refe rred to as multiple case study as opposed to single case study. In multiple case studies, each case is studied in depth individually and they are compared and contrasted to look for similarities and differences across them. According to Stake (2005) e is no hard and fast line distinguishing intrinsic case study falls into both first and second type. It is an intrinsic case study in that I am the course instructor and I am fascinated by the implementation of synchronous communication tools, and I want to investigate how they affect the community of inquiry. It is also instrumental because it is designed to provide insights into the use of these fairly new technolog ies and their influence on online learning environment. Research Method The research method of this study is built on naturalistic inquiry ( Lincoln & Guba 1985 ) The q ualitative researcher follows a constructivist/ naturalist/ interpretive approach (Gub a & Lincoln, 2005). He or she believes that knowledge is constructed by
146 people in a social context, whereas in quantitative research generally positivist approach is followed with the assumption that knowledge is out there ready to be measured objectively and reliably. In qualitative research, it is assumed that knowledge or data are not objective. People perceive everything from their own point of view so that ultimate objectivity is not possible. Qualitative study results build on tacit knowledge of both the researcher and participants. As an online instructor and doctoral candidate, I am a passionate researcher in this study. I am aware of the fact that I will be influenced by my teaching experience, perspectives and ideas. However, to ensure trustworthin ess, I will take certain steps which are discussed later in this chapter. The study design is within a constructivist research paradigm. More specifically, it is defined within a social constructivist paradigm. The constructivist paradigm relativist ontology (there are multiple realities), a subjectivist epistemology (knower and subject create understandings), and a naturalistic (in the As discussed by Guba an d Lincoln (2005), the inquiry aim in constructivist paradigm is to understand and reconstruct the phenomenon under investigation assuming multiple realities. According to Creswell (1998), our assumptions or beliefs related to ontology, in other words the n ature of reality guide the qualitative research er. In this study, I believe I, as a researcher and my participants and the reader of the study contribute to the multiple realities related to the study. Windschitl (1998) encourages qualitative study met document the real changes that are occurring as a result of Internet based teaching and
147 of what is happening to the participants (p. 31 ). As previously noted, Elluminate Live is a new tool for the majority of my students. In literature, r esearchers using CoI implemented both qualitative and quantitative methods. Studies with qualitative methodology analyzed text based asynchronous interac tion transcripts of discussion boards and very few implemented open ended survey items and interviews. Asynchronous interaction transcripts were analyzed by using content analysis technique to identify the categories and indicators of the presences defined in the CoI framework. To assign data to categories, researchers generally relied on the unit of analysis ( e.g., sentence, paragraph, theme, or message) and a message level unit which refers to what one participant posted into one thread of the conferen ce has been found reliable and practical (Garrison Anderson, Archer, 2001 p. 15 ) In the case of this study, the focus was on synchronous interactions via the means of audio, video, emoticons, and text based messages. Therefore, a messag e level unit of analysis in this study was in either of these forms. However, relying solely on analysis of discussion board transcripts provides only a snapshot of elements of CoI because interactions between learners and learner and instructor are not li mited with discussion boards (Anderson, et al, 2001) For example, teaching presence begins even before the course launches and this can be analyzed more effectively by teacher reflections and interviews. Moreover, cognitive presence may not be captured fu lly in the discussion board transcripts. Although students might reach higher level s of thinking, if the tasks or discussion questions do not require that high level, the researcher cannot capture cognitive presence fully. According to Arbaugh ( 2008 p. 15 ):
148 learners might need time to complete the higher order phases of the critical inquiry process. Therefore, techniques typically used to assess cognitive presence such as transcript analysis (Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005; Heckman & Annabi, 2005) may no t completely capture the cognitive inquiry process and therefore should be supplemented with some sort of data collection at the end of the course Therefore, i n addition to content analysis, I also use d data triangulation to uncover community of inquiry elements as perceived by learners and the instructor through interviews, surveys, observation, and reflections. Overall, qu alitative research methodology was suitable for this study to uncover educational insights in an online learning environment from p s R ecruitment and Sampling of Participants The accessible population f or the study wa s 18 undergraduate (preservice) students registered in the online Language Principles and Acquisition course that I taught in the fall 2009 semes ter Out of 18, 10 students were English Education major s and 8 of them were Special Education major s There were 17 female and 1 male students. For this study purpos ive sampling was used to select among 13 students who indicated their voluntary p articip ati on in their survey 1 response. power of purposive sampling lies in selecting information (Patton, 1990, p. 169), I planned to use maximum variation sampling one of 16 purposeful sampling strategies discussed by Patton. For Lincoln and Guba (1985) maximum variation sampling is the most useful strategy for the naturalistic research. According to Patton (1990), maximum variation sampling:
149 aims at capturing and describing the central themes or principal outcomes that cut across a great deal of participant or program variation. For small samples a great deal of heterogeneity can be a problem because individual cases are so different from each other. The maximum variation sampling strategy turns that appar ent weakness into a strength by applying the following logic: Any common patterns that emerge from great variation are of particular interest and value in capturing the core experiences and central, shared aspects or impacts of a program ( p. 172) The stu dy was briefly explained to the class during the course orientation via Elluminate Live on August 29, 2009. All explanations outlining the study, participation requirement and the major benefits as well as informed consent forms w ere made available in a fo lder at the course site. As the course instructor, I always ask my students to take a survey in the beginning and at the end of the semester. I use the Blackboard Survey tool which is easy to use and effective in terms of managing and analyzing data as it downloads the survey in a Microsoft Excel sheet. T he purpose of the first survey i backgrounds, technology skills, expectations regarding the course, previous experiences with synchronous communication tools, perceptions toward online learning, collaborative learning, and synchronous communication so that I can learn my students better, plan for individualized help to those who may need, and enhance my teaching. The end of semester survey serves as a tool for me to receive feedb ack on the course and my teaching. For the purpose of this study, these surveys were modified based on the research questions and literature review ( discussed in more detail in the forthcoming
150 section ). Not only the first survey, but all instruments went t hrough modifications based on the feedback from the dissertation committee All of the eighteen s tudents t ook the survey 1 in the beginning of the semester as a part of the course requirements ( September 7 September 1 8 ). The final item in the survey sough t their voluntary participation for this study which wa s explained on the course site as well as during the orientation. There were 13 students who accept ed to participate in this study. In the proposal of this study, I planned to select six participants using the maximum variation sampling strategy based on the following factors : 1. Previous experience with online distance learning: extensive versus none or limited 2. Previous experience with a SWBCS (like Elluminate Live): extensive versus none or limited 3. Pre vious experience with Gmail Chat or other IM tools: extensive versus none or limited 4. Motivation to use synchronous communication systems in this course: high versus neutral or low 5. Group members: selecting participants from different student groups 6. Major ar ea of study: English Education versus Special Education 7. Age: young adult or mature adult 8. Gender : female versus male However, as the semester proceeded, I realized that I attendance to Elluminate Live meetings as a qualifying fact or for selecting the participants Three students who indicated that they would not be able to attend live meetings due their wo rk schedule were not selected Among 10 students left to
151 increase the response rate, I selected 8 of them instead of 6 based on the factors listed above. T wo unique factors happened to be gender and previous experience with Elluminate Live. T here was only one male student who was also the oldest in the class and had the lowest technical skills. There was only one student who had p revious experience with Elluminate Live and her age, 35 was also in the older column with the male student (43) while the age range for the rest of the class was between 20 and 24. Two students whose characteristics did not add to the maximum variation sam pling were not selected. During the midterm, after we completed the second whole class meeting, an email invitation was sent to the selected eight participants for first interview to be conducted via Elluminate Live. Selecting eight participants instead o f six proved to be effective because only five of them were available One of the students decided to opt out from the study due to health complications while the other two apologized for not being available for an interview due to their hectic schedule. I conducted the first interviews with these selected five participants during the first week of the November At the end of the semester, one of the students did not complete the survey 2 and two students apologized for not being available for the second in terview. Therefore, among the selected eight students initially, three students who provided the complete data set were chosen as study participants. Pseudonyms of Tom, Kristina and April were used to refer to these participants Th eir experiences and pers pectives are described in depth in data analysis sections of Ch a pter 4. Th e rest of the students who did not provide complete data set still provided insights and affirmations for some of the findings.
152 Data Collection Data collection and analysis was iter ative over the fall 2009 semester (though much of the data analysis continue d after the semester end ed ). I use d multiple data sources to provide a comprehensive picture of the phenomenon and to strengthen the trustworthiness of the study (see Figure 9). Ea ch of the instruments is described in more detail in the following sections. Figure 9 Data Sources. The semester prior to the study as I was teaching an online ESOL course, I piloted some of the data collection techniques wh ich provided me with valuable insights to improve the methodology of the study. To begin with, I had a technical problem with the Blackboard survey tool when I tried to download the survey results. I received feedback from the Blackboard help desk. The pro blem occurred bec ause I copied the
153 each question from a Microsoft word document instead of directly typing them on the Blackboard scree n. After retyping each question (or copying from Notepad also works), the results were available. There was not any issue with the clarity of the survey questions, but only 70% of the students took the surveys and only 2 two students submitted a reflection. Therefore, because reflecting on learning experience is critical for learning (Kolb, 1984) I have decided to incorpora te writing reflections into the course design. Piloting the use of Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat has afforded me with useful and practical insights for course design and study methodology too. To begin with positive reflections, I did not encounter any problem s with Elluminate Live in terms of recording the session or reaching the archives which is critical for data collection. The quality of both the live session and archive was high. Second, I began to feel more confident in using many strategies and different tools available in the system. Through experience, I have also learned that I need to provide more time on any content presentation since students often ask for repetition and clarification, and each me e ting should not last longer than 2 hours. I believe such experiences hopefully lead me to have better time management for synchronous teaching. It is not an efficient way to do a polling to schedule a whole class meeting because students cannot reach consensus I pick ed the dates before the semes ter beg an based on the Academic Calendar (not selecting Holiday or around Holiday days). It seem ed Friday night would work well for almost all students as the university does not schedule on campus courses Friday nights. Since students kn e w the dates of li ve meetings ahead of time, they were able to make necessary plans to attend the meeting or
154 if not, they were given alternative assignment and asked to watch the meeting recording However, the majority of the class wanted to change the date of the last mee ting, and through a polling, it was decided on a Tuesday morning. Before the orientation meeting, students were given written instructions a PowerPoint document introducing the Elluminate Live, and they were asked to test their ith Elluminate Live technology either by running a recorded I also provided a Word document listing possible technical problems and solutions as well as live chat an d phone number of the help desk in case students need ed it On the day of live meetings, I remind ed students of the help desk contact information via Blackboard announcement and email and I was available to them on Gmail chat in case they had a question In terms of piloting the use of Gmail Chat to be available to students for extended e office hours from the technical standpoint I kn e w Gmail Chat wa s a reliable tool, but video chat might not work sometimes. If this wa s the case, I planned to use Ellumin ate Live t o meet the student but there was no occasion of this Although video/audio provides means for richer information sharing, the downside of using it is that Gmail Chat does not record those sessions. It only saves text based chat. Therefore, whene ver I had a n instantaneous audio or video chat session with a student, I kept a reflective log. Having reflected on the results of piloting some techniques, I will discuss data collection procedures The course under investigation was offered totally onl ine in fall 2009, beginning on August 24 th and ending on December 5 th (the f inal exam week end ed by December 11 th ). O n August 29 th we had our online course orientation via Elluminate
155 Live for a two hour session to show how to use certain tools at Ellumina te Live, introduc e course objectives, review major assignments, answer student questions, and briefly mention this study. From August 24 th to the orientation day, students were asked to explore the course site, become familiar with the Blackboard tools, and participate in an e Caf discussion forum to introduce themselves and meet other class members. This forum wa s created to serve for initiation of social interactions to build a sense of presence and belonging to the class. During the semester, although this forum was open to social interactions considering that students and the instructor m ight wish to share non academic issues with the learning community it was not used after introductions and get to know each other messages in section 1 An outline of data collection procedures together with the course schedule is provided in Table 9 Gmail Chat sessions between the instructor and student do not appear in the Table 9 as they we re impromptu and initiated by students. However, I record ed written chat session s and report ed them in my researcher/teacher journal. In this study all data were collected electronically through Blackboard course site and Gmail Surveys were created by using the Blackboard survey tool. Students submitted their reflections vi a Assignments and Elluminate Live recordings were also available on the Blackboard course site. Except for the phonology and morphology meeting session when I had problems with uploading documents and forgot to click on record button all other Elluminate Live sessions were recorded for later retrieval for students to review and for data analysis. Three class meetings were transcribe d covering all verbal, written and graphical communications that t ook place during the session
156 Table 9 Data Collection Timeline and Procedures (Gmail Chat sessions are student initiated and impromptu, thus they are not noted here) When Procedures Outcomes Section 1 : Why ESOL? Lesson Planning, ESOL Binder, LEP Analysis August 24 27 Students and the in structor introduce d themselves at the e caf forum on BB Students g o t familiar with the course site and requirements Creat ed a welcoming atmosphere to establish social presence August 2 9 Online course orientation via Elluminate Live Wrote r eflect ion on researcher journal The session recorded September 1 7 By September 18 T he proposal d efend ed Students took the Survey 1 Students formed their groups Section 2 : Phonology and Morphology September 18 Phonology & Morphology Elluminate Live session R ecord ing the session failed Wrote r eflect ion on
157 researcher journal September 19 Student s submit ted their first reflections Recorded a session with a colleague on phonology and morphology to provide students with an archive Read student reflections and se nt feedback September 21 Group X used Elluminate Live for group discussions Noted down in researcher journal Section 3 : Syntax and Semantics September 26 Download ed survey 1 results Identified volunteers for the study in survey 1 results September 30 Group Y used Elluminate Live for group discussions Noted down in researcher journal October 10 IRB approval received 8 student p articipants selected based on Survey 1 results and maximum variation Contact ed participants and posted informed consent forms on B lackboard Section 4 : Pragmatics, Nonverbal Communication, Discourse October 16 Midterm r eview session via Elluminate Live Record ed the session and reflect ed on researcher
158 journal. October 17 October 18 Student s submit ted their second reflections on Elluminate Live experience Voluntary second m idterm r eview session via Elluminate Live (5 students attended) Review ed all reflections and sent feedback Preliminary analysis of survey 1 and student reflections to get p repare d for first interviews with p articipants Emailed 8 selected students to coordinate the first interviews Section 5 : Literacy November 1 6 5 participants accepted the interview Conducted first interviews with 5 participants individually via Elluminate Live Recorded the interviews Section 6 : Second Language Acquisition (SLA) November 20 Group presentation s and whole class discussion on SLA Theories via Elluminate Live Record ed the session and reflect ed on researcher journal
159 November 21 Student s submit ted their third reflections o n Elluminate Live experience Section 7 : Assessment November 21 December 1 Students watched a prerecorded Elluminate Live presentation on assessment December 4 December 8 One of the groups present ed their LEP Projects via Elluminate Live (group member s and the instructor attended) All g roups (and 2 individuals) present ed their LEP Analysis Projects and whole class discussion via Elluminate Live Record ed the session s and reflect ed on researcher journal December 5 9 Student s submit ted their fourth refl ections on Elluminate experience Review ed all reflections and sent feedback to students. December 5 11 4 p articipants t ook Survey 2 3 participants were available for interview Invited 5 participants for interview Preliminary data analysis
160 of reflections and survey 2 to get prepared for second interviews December 15 16 I nterview ed 3 participants individually via Elluminate Live Record ed the interview s Survey s As previously explained, all students took S urvey 1 (see Appendix D ) in the beginning of the se mester This survey provide d a means for selecting participants for the study. It also provide d valuable information on student s background s and attitudes toward synchronous communication tools, online learning and collaborative learning Survey 2 (see A ppendix E ) was a dministered during the final week of the semester. Directions for completing the survey was given on the course site and announced once it wa s avail able The purpose of this instrument wa s to collect data on lived experiences and perspectives related to use of synchronous communications from the CoI framework. Certain terms related to the CoI we re explained or modified for students to be able to understand the questions better. For example, social presence wa s followed by a parenth project ing oneself socially and emotionally, thus being perceived as real people and feeling a sense of togetherness Likewise, teacher presence wa content, providing clarification and feedback, and Moreover, instead of cognitive presence term, learning was used.
161 Student Reflections As a course assignment, students submitt ed four written reflections after each whole class Elluminate Live meeting. The purpose of thi s assignment wa s to promote reflective learning as students in their reflections consciously focus ed on how they felt during the meetings, what they learn ed how they learn ed what work ed well for them and what needed to be improved for their learning enha ncement. Students were asked to submit their reflections within a day following each Elluminate Live meeting so that at the time of reflection, their memory of the experience would be fresh Guidelines for reflections were posted on the course portal ( s ee Appendix F ) As soon as each set of reflections were received, they were read and comments and feedback were sent to the students. If s tudents express ed any social presence concerns and problems with technology or content the y were contacted immediately t hrough email and offered help These reflections provide d me both as the instructor and researcher with ongoing needs learning process and my teaching presence As a researcher, reflections also shaped the interview questions and strengthen ed the study serving for data triangulation. Compared to interviews and survey data, reflections were more immediate perceptions, thoughts and feelings of students since they were submitted within a day following the experience. Researcher/Teach er Reflective Journal As an online instructor, I have been using a reflective journal to improve my teaching and enhance student learning. Similarly d uring the fall semester, I use d a Word document and Excel spreadsheet to reflect on the pation, grades, particular observations, what work ed well and what need ed to be modified in the course
162 My dual role made me focus on research methodology and, thereby include d necessary comments related to my participants and incidents. My r esearcher jour nal or in other word s field notes provide d a tool to maintain consistency and flow through data collection allow ed recording immediate inferences and emotions and serve d as a resource for further data collection (e.g. interviews) and data analysis. Lin coln and Guba (1985) name the reflective journal as one of the methods to establish credibility of the study. Three types of journals are described by Lincoln and Guba The f irst type is used to keep a schedule or calendar to determine the logistics and ev ents related to the study The s econd type is like a personal diary where researchers note their emotions, thoughts, and v alues throughout data collection. The third type pertains to recording methodological issues In this study, my researcher journal inc orporate d all three types. I use d an observation log ( Appendix G ) to reflect on each Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat sessions I record ed my reflections and notes as soon as I d id observation and data collection. Especially before interviews, I review ed my journal to do some addition and/or modification to interview questions. Furthermore, because of my participant researcher role and close relationship to the setting, I use d a self reflection protocol which poses critical and reflective questions that I nee d ed to be conscious about prior and during the data collection procedures (s ee Appendix H ) Interviews Semi structured and informal interviews with participants were carried out on two separate occasions at the middle and end of the semester The first interviews that lasted approximately one hour took place in the first week of November, the week after we completed the second Elluminate Live class meeting and second written reflections. T he
163 second interviews took almost 40 minutes and were conducted onc e the semester was over Semi structured interviews were chosen to use because they allow researchers more flexibility to adjust their questions based on responses they get during the interview and based on the data they have observed previously from other sources. Interviews were conducted via Elluminate Live because of its high quality recording capacity (audio, visual and textual) and its familiarity to the participants. I used a webcam to make myself as social and real as possible to the participant. P articipants were not required to have a webcam, but most occasions they opened their webcam. Only Tom webcam never worked For all interviews, we use d a headset for verbal communication. Interviews were scheduled at a convenient time for the participan ts. I ma de sure that participants fe lt comfortable and secure before we actually start ed the interview by having some initial social conversation We talked about Thanksgiving Holiday, cooking, cold weather, and health The interview questions ( for a sam ple of interview questions, see Appendix I ) were mostly open with Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live their feelings, and beliefs related to the role of synchronous tools in terms of the com munity of inquiry in the c lass B ased on reflections and my observations, I create d additional questions in order to tap into certain areas of interest and to clarify specific incidences. Therefore, the interview questions varied slightly for each participant. A sample of the probing questions from one of the first interviews is as follows:
164 In your survey thing to face to Has your motivation c hanged so far? consider face to How do you feel about having a community in this class? Have we achieved cr eating an online learning community where students feel comfortable to contact the instructor and other students, feel connected with other students and instructor? What other aspects do you think help us feel more connected? What do you think about your l earning in this class? Without Elluminate Live meetings, how do you think your learning would be affected? Synchronous Session Recordings Elluminate Live recordings Elluminate Live was used for the purposes of content presentation (direct teaching), clari fication of assignments, question and answer session to provide students a chance to get immediate response from other students and/or the instructor, and group presentations, therefore, enhancing student student interactions and collaborative learning. F i ve Elluminate Live meetings were scheduled during the course design These were planned for orientation, phonology and morphology se ction midterm review, SLA theories, and LEP Analysis case project presentations Only one additional live class session was held for midterm review. Two pre recorded content presentations via
165 Ellumiante Live were pr ovided to students as well. The recording s of the presentation of section 2 (phonology and morphology) and section 7 (assessment) were prepared by a colleague who a lso shared them with her own students In addition, some of the student groups use d Elluminate Live for their group communication and collaboration. Prior to the semester I was planning to use auto record option for all Elluminate Live synchronous class m eetings when sessions we re being created. However, I decided not to use a uto r ecord option because uploading documents prior to the meeting took much longer time than it did last semester. F or Phonology and Morphology class meeting because I had to upload two PowerPoint documents with big sizes, I knew it would take a long time. I f the recording had been started automatically, it would have recorded the time I was uploading the documents, which would cause students difficulty to find the beginning of the se ssion when they needed to review the recording I started uploading the documents one hour fifteen minutes before the session hour. During uploading the second document, it failed and the whole procedure took too slow that I felt stressed about the time. A nother drawback was that during upload period, the system does not allow the moderator to use any other tool (including microphone or chat to respond student questions). Once they were uploaded I had to immediately start interacting with the students. In such panic, I forgot to click on the record button. It was toward s the end of the session when one student asked about the availability of the recording that I realized that I had forgotten it In order to provide students with a recording of the content p resentation of phonology and morphology my colleague and I did a presentation together and shared the recording with our students. This experience taught me to be more cautious about recording for next sessions so that I started using my cell
166 phone alarm post it notes, and Outlook reminders which were helpful indeed or I was very cautious of it anyway that I did not have any other problem Elluminate Live provide d a high quality recording for archival purposes. Recordings serve d for pedagogical and res earch purposes in the course. First, students who miss ed the live meeting s or needed a review were able to watch the recording and as the instructor I reviewed the recording s to grade student participation. For research purposes, w hile all recordings were analyzed holistically based on researcher reflective journal and student written reflections only the last three recordings (Midterm review, SLA theories, and LEP Analysis presentations) were transcribed and analyzed in terms of how community of inquiry w as projected The phonology and morphology session recording was not available and the orientation meeting was not selected because it was teacher centered and covered only introduction of the tool and the course. While reviewing the recordings, researcher observation logs (explained in researcher journal section) guide d me ( s ee Appendix G ). Gmail Chat recordings Gmail Chat was used for student instructor interactions and recommended for group communication and collaboration. It served as a means of was available to my students in real time for extended hours. Gmail Chat records only text based interactions. Therefore, I relied on text based records, student reflections and my own reflections in the journal during data analysis. Although I encouraged audio and video chat and used it myself a few times, students preferred to use text based chat b ecause these sessions we re instantaneous and very short in duration and some students had technical problems with the audio/video applica tion
167 Additional Data Sources Due to my participant researcher role and close relationship with the setting and participants, I was afforded with unplanned but valuable data. The course management system, Blackboard track ed participation, disc ussion posts, grades, and assignments. Moreover, as I was grading student asynchronous group and class discussion participations, I was able receive more information about my participants For example, if their group was using Elluminate Live and/or Gmai l Chat, and if they reflected on these tools, their learning and satisfaction on their discussion posts I was able to ask about the se incidents during our interviews Finally, data sources and how they correspond to research questions are displayed in Fig ure 10. Ethical Aspects of Data Collection Procedures 1998, p. 132). No instances of e thical violations were encountered during this research study. T he approval from the Institutional Review Board in the university was pursued before data collection. All participants signed an informed consent form (Appendix J), in which the purpose of the study, the procedures, the strict nature of privacy and confidentiality of data collection and dissemination procedures, and protection from harm were clearly explained to the participants. They were informed that they might discontinue their participatio n at any time of the study.
168 Figure 10 Matching the research questions to data sources. Due to my dual role of being the instructor of my participants and a researcher, I paid special attention to balance the dynamics of studen t instructor interactions and participant researcher interactions The participants were aware of my relation to them. Throughout the data collection procedures, I was always respectful towards my participants by being careful with my language and attitude I made sure the participants felt comfortable and secure. In data analysis and reporting the results, I was careful to was also aware that as a qualitative research er I was representing my own interpretation (Stake, 1995). As noted by Creswell (1998) I paid attention not to share my experiences or thoughts in a way that w ould , reducing information
169 shared by the participant. Finally, I delete d personal and shared by my participants Data Analysis By studying three well known qualitative authors, Creswell (1998) created a list of common analytic strategies for qualitative studies which will serve as a guidel ine for data analysis techniques and strategies (e.g. Leech & Onwuegbuzie, 2005; Lincoln & Guba 1985; Patton, 1990; Anfara, Brown, & Mangione, 2002 ; Merriam, 1998; B ogdan & Biklen 1998) and the CoI research in literature, I developed the following data analysis plan, which is presented in Figure 1 1 Data analysis was emergent during the semester and initiated as soon as the first data set were received (Gall, Gall, & Borg, 2007). Once the whole class had taken survey 1 t he first step in data analysis was to download results for the purpose of recruitment of participants. The students who indicated their voluntary participation in the study were identified. A table wa s created in an Excel sheet to compare the volunteers according to the criteria for the maxi mum variation sampling strategy, which is discussed in R ecruitment and Sampling of Participants section above. Once participants were identified, they received an e mail requesting the submission of their informed consent form that was uploaded on the course site. Preliminary data analysis during data collection was necessary to generate interview questions and to confirm my understanding through member checks.
170 Figure 11 Research Plan
171 Each urvey 1 data were saved as rtf documents and uploaded to the qualitative analysis software program, ATLAS.ti for further data analysis purpose. At the proposed design of the study, I was not sure if I would use ATLAS.ti however, based on the recommendation of my dissertation committee, I used ATLAS.ti and I found it efficient and user friendly for data storage, coding and analysis. All data (transcriptions of interviews and live class meetings, surveys, student reflections, and researcher journal) were saved as .rtf document s and uploaded to ATLAS.ti For each participant and one for the whole class meetings, a new hermeneutic unit (like a folder) was created a nd preliminary coding was carried out during the semester. The majority of coding was done after the semester was over. The teacher/researcher reflective journal where I kep t records of my observations, comments, and feelings was a starting point for ongoi ng data analysis as it help ed me identify missing information, promising directions, and recurring themes. After organizing the data in ATLAS.ti the next step was getting familiar with the data by reading them again and again by highlighting certain inf ormation, adding comments to codes and files, adding memos ( using the Memo tool) identifying quotations and coding The Memo tool was like the researcher journal in ATLAS.ti where I commented on some parts wrote reminders to check certain things, jotted down questions that would be asked in the interview. Upon reviewing t he data several times during the ongoing data reduction process the memos and comment logs were reviewed to refin e my interpretations and coding. During data analysis step by step process suggestions w ere applied, which meant following the order in data sets such as reading the first interview
172 transcript, the first student reflection and similar before starting the second data set of interviews and other data. In addit ion, constant comparison among data sets was ongoing during data reduction and classification to interpret the data and to drive naturalistic generalizations. community of inquiry and s ynchronous communications were noted. Analyses of the Elluminate Live class meeting transcriptions were compared and contrasted among each other as well as being triangulated with the data from the participants written reflections and researcher/instructor journal. During triangulation, no discrepancies occurred among data At the proposal stage of the study, a data matrix for data organization was created to make sense of the whole data, and to retrieve and compare data sources easily, but that matrix was not used because ATLAS.ti met all the needs of data management and analysis. At the final stage of data analysis the data were sorted into categories ( called families in ATLAS.ti ) The data were again screened for any information left out or not coded. Various r eports were generated from ATLAS.ti including list s and frequency counts of codes with and without illustrative quotations from the text. Together with the memos, these reports he lped me identify patterns and themes that would answer research ques tions (Patton, 1990). The CoI framework provide d an a priori template for identifying categories of social presence, cognitive presence, and teaching presence. However it was not complete list to answer the research questions of the current Additional ca tegories included p erceived learning, perceived social presence course satisfaction and teacher availability, all of which were inquired in terms of E l luminate
173 Live and Gmail Chat use. Furthermore, there were emerging sub categories. Teaching irect teaching and facilitation of discourse elements were needed to be differentiated based on by whom they were provided : by students or by the teacher. Because this course was student centered where students had an active role to teach and learn from ea ch other through collaborative tasks teaching presence was not performed only by the instructor. Therefore, these sub categories emerged in the data. Table 10 lists the categories and elements that guided data analysis. Data triangulation and using both the voice of students and the instructor in addition to recording transcriptions enhanced trustworthiness of the study, which will be addressed in the following section. Table 10 Da ta Analysis Template ELEMENTS CATEGORIES INDICATORS (examples only) Social Presence Personal/Affective Expression Self Projection /Expressing Emotions Sense of belonging Forming distinct impressions of some peers Enjoying CMC for social interaction Open Communication Learning Climate/ Risk Free Expression Feeling comfortable conversing through CMC
174 Feeling comfortable participating in class discussions Feeling comfortable interacting with other course participants and the instructor Group Cohesion Group Identity/Collaboration Feeling comfortable disagreeing with other course participants while maintaining a sense of trust Feeling that his/her point of view is acknowledged by other course participants Phatics; salutation, greetings, closure s Per ceived Social Presence: Of other course participants Of the instructor Of him/herself as projected Related comments in written reflections Response to related survey 2 items & interview questions Cognitive Presence Triggering Event Recognizing the p roblem Sense of puzzlement Exploration Divergence within online community Divergence within single message Information exchange Suggestions for consideration
175 Brainstorming Leaps to conclusions Integration Convergence among group members Con vergence within a single message Connecting ideas, synthesis Creating solutions (Group and class discussions; course assignments) Resolution Vicarious application to real world Testing solutions Defending solutions (Course assignments: LEP Analysis Pr oject ESOL Modified Lesson Plans Class Discussions ) Perceived Learning Related comments in written reflections Response to related survey 2 items & interview questions Teaching Presence Design & Organization Setting curriculum Designing methods Establishing time parameters Utilizing medium effectively Establishing netiquette Facilitating Discourse by Teacher Identifying areas of agreement/ disagreement
176 Facilitating Discourse by Students Seeking to reach consensus/ understanding Encouraging acknowledging, or reinforcing student contributions Setting climate for learning Drawing in participants, prompting discussion Assess ing the efficacy of the process Direct Instruction by Teacher Direct Instruction by Students Presenting content/qu estions Focusing the discussion on specific issues Summarizing the discussion Confirming understanding through assessment and explanatory feedback. Diagnosing misconceptions Injecting knowledge from diverse sources Responding to technical concerns P erceived Teaching Presence Availability & Promptness & Teacher Immediacy Related comments in written reflections Response to related survey 2 items & interview questions
177 Satisfaction With Elluminate With Gmail Chat With the course With the instructor Actual p articipation and use Observed motivation to use Related comments in written reflections Response to related survey 2 items & interview questions Trustworthiness For qualitative inquiry, Lincoln and Guba (1985) provide four c riteria for trustwor thiness: credibility, transferability, de pendability, and confirmability. These are compared and explained with strategies to improve them in Table 1 1 Table 11 Qualitative Criteria for Assessing Research Quality Adapted from Anfar a, Brown, & Mangione (2002, p. 30) Trustworthiness Criteria Strategy employed Credibility f ield Transferability pling Dependability
178 recode strategy Confirmability The credibility of the study was strengthened by data triangulation long engagement with the p articipants and data collection use of peer debriefing and member check My previous teaching experience of this course and conducting the study over a semester provided me with long engagement with the setting, participants and data collection. Multiple data sources in this study came from students and document analysis and the instructor/my observations. To consolidate credibility, during data analysis, interpretation, and conclusion phases, I shared the reports with my participants to check their accura cy and credibility. During data analysis process, I requested two of my colleagues to review a sample of my coding including the parts that highlighted as questionable, to participate in the coding, and finally to check my data analysis and interpretatio ns. Both colleagues who were knowledgeable about the current study received 15% of the data set from participants and synchronous meeting transcriptions to code. One of them was experienced in the CoI and online education research so that she only needed l ittle clarification for coding and checking my analyses. To the other peer researcher, I provide d the necessary information on the Community of Inquiry framework, including tables of categories and example indicators of each presence in the framework and the
179 research questions via email A fter she became familiar with the framework and analysis we talked on the phone to discuss her questions before she started coding Finally, we compare d and discuss ed our findings via emails and followed up with phone co nversations In the end, there was a total agreement on all issues To ensure t ransferability thick description of the setting, participants the study design, and methods were provided so a s to achieve verisimilitude, a style of writing that draws readers so Using a purposive sampling strategy also add ed to transferability of the study. Thus, readers of this study can make judgment in terms of transferring the findings to their own settings In this study for dependability criterion, I use d triangulation of data sources (students, instructor/researcher, and document analysis) and data methods (inte rview, survey, student reflections, and researcher journal ) peer examination, member checking of the categories, and code recode strategy Finally, t o consolidate confirmability reflexivity was utilized (Onwuegbu zie, 2000; Anfara, Brown, Mangione, 2002; Creswell, 1998). Conclusion to Chapter 3 This chapter discusse d the details of the research methodology of th e study to answer th is overarching research questions : How does the use of synchronous communication to ols mediate the community of inquiry in an online pre service ESOL course? The chapter provide d a description of where, when, and how data w ere collected
180 and analyzed In the beginning of the chapter, th e research setting and recruitment of three participa nts with a purposive sampling approach was discussed Data collection was ongoing over the semester using m ultiple data sources including surveys, interviews, transcript analysis of 3 live meetings, and researcher/instruc tor journal. Preliminary data analysis began as soon as each data set was received while the bulk of the data analysis took place after the semester ended ATLAS.ti software was utilized for data analysis Finally, t he chapter conclude d with the discussion of the steps that had been taken to ensure credibility of the study. The findings of the study are reported in the following chapters.
181 CHAPTER FOUR : RESULTS Overview Chapter four discusses the results of this research study which sought answers to the following questions: Overarching Question: How does the use of synchronous communication tools mediate the community of inquiry in an online pre service ESOL course? 1. How does the use of Instant Messenger (IM), Gmail Chat (for extended virtual office hour) mediate the community of inquiry? 1.1. How does the use of IM mediate social presence? 1.2. How does the use of IM mediate cognitive presence? 1.3. How does the use of IM mediate teacher presence? 1.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of IM in terms of course satisfaction? 2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate the community of inquiry ? 2.1. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate social presence? 2.2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate cognitive presence? 2.3. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate teacher presence? 2.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of a SWBCS in terms of course satisfaction?
182 Building and sustaining a community of inquiry in an online course is a complex multifaceted and dynamic pro cess which covers all pedagogical actions of the instructor, learning processes, and interactions among and between students and the instructor whether synchronous or asynchronous This study focused on how synchronous interactions mediate the community o f inquiry but i n order to provide an overall picture of this intended community and to makes sense of the findings, I will first describe how the course progressed, what significant observations were done and what teaching methods and strategies were use d. By doing so, I will be doing a holistic analysis of how the Community of Inquiry (CoI) presences mediate d all of these components of th is community over the semester. I will then discuss the results of analysis of Gmail Chat us age and whole class Ellumi nate Live meetings Lastly, I will present the in depth analysis of the three selected participants beginning with a brief profile of each : Tom, Kristina and April. A H olistic A nalysis of the Course As indicated in the previous chapter, t his research too k place in an online preservice ESOL course, Language Principles and Acquisition over the fall 2009 semester I was both the course instructor and researcher. Course design and organization which is a category of teaching presence in the CoI framework w as initiated long before the course began This covered the planning and preparation of these methods and materia ls some of which were modified during the semester: Course schedule, syllabus, selection of tools to be used, group activities, synchronous me etin gs, office hour s the textbook, assignments rubrics, guidelines, instructions, exercises, quizzes, sample works, netiquette, content presentations and web resources Some of
183 these procedures are also indicators of direct teaching such as presenting co ntent and questions, and injecting knowledge from diverse sources The first interaction between the instructor and students took place a week before the semester started when I sent a welcome email to the students and posted this message as a course anno uncement on the course site In this message I explained where they could locate information for the orientation, syllabus, course information section 1 documents, and guidelines for Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat I also requested that they check the co urse site to get used to the design and participate in e caf E caf discussion forum was created to provide a platform for students to get to know each other and the instructor through self introductions social interactions that include humor casual la nguage self projection, emotions, self disclosure and sense of belonging which corresponds to personal/affective expression category of social presence These strategies were also used to create a friendly and risk free learning climate indicating the o pen communication category of social presence On e caf forum, first I posted my introduction together with three photographs. All students participate d in this forum, and except two students, all shared their photographs too. I read and responded to each student post by welcoming them, commenting or asking question on particular things they shared as well as inquiring about their previous experience with online education and Elluminate L ive and their strategies be a successful online learner. Several stud ent s also comment ed introduction. This forum helped students get to know each other and form their groups Beginning with my first email and announcement, I always noted that students could contact me any time with their questions. I tried to be available, supportive, and approachable as I believe this wa s c ritical for students to feel
184 comfortable to contact me when they need ed, which manifests itself as open communication in CoI In addition, during the semester, greetings for Thanksgiving and Halloween were used. A t the SLA live meeting, one group displayed a Thanksgiving greeting car d I also created a Thanksgiving greeting card using all of our photographs and emailed it to the students. Some students responded immediately showing appreci ation and emotion Throughout the semester there was frequent interaction between the instructor and students using different CMC tools like email, announcement, discussion board, chat, and Elluminate Live Except for a few messages and emails which were for greetin g s congratulati ons on (wedding, baby, published article and TV show) quick recover y wishes and compliments all interactions were course related on issues like assignment instructions and submission due dates, grading, feedback, group collaboration group problems, and locating certain documents on the course portal In almost all messages, salutation closure, and vocatives were used All of t hese strategies that provided the medium for the establishment of soci al presence and encouraged cognitive presence also exhibit ed the characteristics of setting climate for learning which is an indicator of facilitating discourse category under teaching presence This provides an example of how presences interact and how t eaching presence design s facilitat es and direct s cognitive and social processes for the purpose of realizing personally meaningful and educationally worthwhile learning outcomes Anderson, Rourke, Garrison, & Archer, 2001, p.5). As explained in the pr evious chapter, the course was divided into seven sections each of which approximately took two weeks (see Table 8 on page 133) Once a section ended, the next section folder was made available. Each section folder included an
185 introduction letter which ex plained all the section tasks, assignments, and deadlines. Introduction letters also included a checklist for the section where students could click on each task to put a check mark once they completed it. This was to provide extra support resource to stud ents to keep on track in addition to already posted detailed course schedule and a course calendar. Additionally, I sent reminder emails for all deadlines and used Google Calendar and s hared with the students (an application of the tool) but except for on e student, the others either were not familiar with Google Calendar or were not motivated to try it. During the semester, I received positive comments from the students on the checklists and reminder emails sent out for all the deadlines. C ollaborative le arning activities carry great importance for social presence and online community building ( Arbaugh, 2005; Richardson, & Swan, 2003 ; Rovai, 2002). In this course, collaborative learning among groups and within groups took place in six out of seven sections For g roup cohesion and effective interaction s, each member selected a group member role ( of manager, encourager liaison, and organizer) during section 1 when groups were formed. In addition to these roles, one member of the group had to be the summarize r for at least one section In section 1, only whole class discussions were conducted while groups were being formed by students. Each group had their own private work area on BB which allowed them to use discussion forum, file exchange, email blog, and w iki. For group discussions, students needed to use their group discussion board, and/or Gmail Chat or Elluminate Live for synchronous interactions that could be recorded for grading purposes (see Appendix B for discussion rubric). The g roup discussion boar d was the most commonly used tool during the semester for section discussions. Some groups also reported that they used email, phone, and cell phone text
186 messaging for quick and short messages. Beginning with section 2, students first participated in group discussions during the first week of the section, and then, the summarizers posted their group summary (responses to given discussion questions) to a class discussion forum where each student commented on other group summaries asked questions, and gave examples, which kept discussions going for a week I actively participated in the class discussion board modeling appropriate etiquette and effective participation During my participation, I provide d constructive and explanatory feedback on mmaries and individual contributions answer ed questions posed, clarif ied certain areas acknowledge d encourage d and reinforced student participat ion and summarize d the section once it was over S tudents were individually graded on their group and class discussion participation in each section and immediate feedback was provided to students via grade center comment and/or email These teaching presence activities are indicators of facilitating discourse and direct teaching Effective class discussions and collaborative learning activities were necessary for students to be able to socially construct knowledge and engage in deep and active learning which reflects a collaborati ve constructivist perspective on teaching and learning (Garrison & Archer, 2000) T his is the core of CoI for which to occur, cognitive presence needs to be achieved through direction of teaching presence and facilitation of social presence. All learning activities and materials were carefully designed and adapted before and during the s emester. G roup and class discussion s were held in each section. Discussion questions covered present ation of content, analy sis of samples of written ESL discourse and application of each section topic to classroom teaching with appro priate instructional m odifications for English language learners In addition to discussions,
187 quizzes, a midterm exam, lesson plans modified for ESOL and an LEP Analysis case study. C ourse assignments and tasks gave the opportunity for all th e categories of cognitive presence to be manifested. Triggering event, exploration and reflection categories were commonly observed in the group discussion forum while reflection and resolution were present in class discussions and other assignments The c ase study project was the major assignment in this course which required the highest level of cognitive presence -resolution. In this section, I provide d an overall picture of the course and how the elements of CoI were manifested in the course design an d delivery. This section di d not intend to respond to the research question s but this description and analysis will help readers make sense of the context and results and decide how applicable the findings are to their own settings. Analysis of Synchrono us Communication s In this course, two different s ynchronous tools were used. For whole class meetings, a synchronous web based course system, Elluminate Live was utilized, and for impromptu student instructor interactions Gmail Chat was used. I will firs t report the analysis of how Gmail Chat mediated the community of inquiry and student satisfaction Gmail Chat In this class Gmail Chat provided a medium for unscheduled office hours so that I could be available to the students most of the time when they needed to contact me. During the first week of the semester, I added the students into my chat contacts and provided them with the visual and written instructions for how to use it. I also informed
188 them that they could request a meeting whenever they wante d, however, none of the students asked for a meeting during the semester. The total number of chat sessions over the semester was 5 2 The number of chat sessions by months is as follows: September : 17 October : 10 November: 9 December (till December 14 th ) : 1 6 Total=5 2 The distribution of sessions among months is not surprising because students need more clarification both in the beginning and towards the end of the semester Early semester, students requested help with group formation, locating course docu ments, and checking deadlines with me while towards the end of the semester, topics included conflicts with Elluminate Live presentation time clarification of assignment feedback ad grading locating a form, and administration of a retake exam The number of reported chat sessions only includes two way synchronous communications between a student and me. emails via chat when they did not respond. It also does not cover o ne student initiated message that I could not reply due to being away at that time. Lastly, it excludes the five chat sessions with the student who dropped the course by the fourth week of the semester The average number of chat sessions per student was 3 and the highest number was 12 Four out of 18 students never used Gmail Chat to communicate with me. Three
18 9 of these students were in a group together and used chat for collaboration on assignment s An additional note about this group is that they also u sed Elluminate Live for group discussions in the phonology and morphology section In addition, another group used Gmail Chat often. They held their group discussions in two sections instead of using asynchronous group discussion board : Section 3, syntax a nd semantics, and section 4, discourse and pragmatics. All of the three selected participants for this study, April, Tom, and Kristina, had used Gmail Chat with me only once. I will discuss their data in detail in the next sections. In contrast to the n umber of chat sessions, the total number of emails (from the teacher to an individual or a group of students and from st udent(s) to the teacher) was 31 2 excluding the emails I sent to the whole class. When I analyzed email and chat information for each in dividual student, I noticed that except for one student who had almost equal number of email and chat sessions (14 and 1 2 respectively), the students preferred to use email The minimum use of email per student was 8, the maximum was 37, and the average wa s 17. Table 12 shows how often each student used email and chat tools and provides sample excerpts for student perceptions o f the chat and its role for building community of inquiry. T he student who used the Gmail Chat the most over the semester had 12 s essions with me all initiated by her In addition, the total number of email correspondence between us was 14. I noticed her being online quite often We used written chat all the time although once when I offered to use audio or video, she said she had t o download the program and restart the browser, but she di d not sign in again that day. In subsequent
190 conversations, I did not offer to use audio chat and she never used it either. She mainly contacted me about assignment clarification, apologizing for mis sing deadlines, requesting for extension on assignments, and asking for technical help with Elluminate Live. Table 12 Frequency of Using Emails and Chat over the Semester and their Perceptions on Using Chat and its Role for the Community of Inquiry Email Chat with Instructor Chat with G roup Student P erception s 14 12 Very Often "I <3 gmail chat!! And you were ALWAYS availabl e. This helped me sooo much! 10 10 10 10 10 10" I think it does (help us establish and sustain an online learning community) because we have (feeling a sense of social presence with the instructor and group members), it makes it much easier to ask for help when you know your classmates, beca use 14 3 Very often "Gmail chat was phenomenal, easy to use, and easy to access others. I give it two thumbs up on all these areas ( social presence, teaching presence, and
191 learning )". 21 3 Every week "I just learned how to use it this semester and now I ( social presence, teaching presence, and learning ) This is because it allows communication and communication is key to all three." 8 Once A few times "I felt that i t was easier than writing emails and much more efficient as long as the other person was online. I was comfortable initiating chat. I did feel that the instructor was available whenever I (it promotes social presence, teaching presence, and learning)" 11 None None I have not used it. If I did use it then it would probably promote my sense of belonging to the I n her reflections and Survey 2 responses, she commented on Gmail Chat very positively. She repo rted that she used chat with her group members and it was easier than calling them. She felt comfortable to contact her group members when she needed. Also, she believed using chat helped her learn better in the course. I n her reflection 3 paper when she was asked if Gmail Chat helped us establish and sustain an online learning community in the class, she wrote
192 Survey 2 asked her to evaluat e the role of Gmail Chat in terms of teac hing, social, and cognitive presence, sense of community, and overall satisfaction. Her response to this item was, probably means love) gmail chat!! And Based on my r esearcher journal notes t here were a few students who preferred email ing to chatting when we were both online at th e time Some students noted in their reflect ions and in survey 2 that they just emailed me because they knew they would get a prompt respons e thus they did not choose to use chat. Gmail Chat and CoI All chat communications between students and me were recorded and analyzed using ATLAS.ti for the manifestations of CoI elements and categories. Teaching presence. Teaching presence played a bi g role in the chat interactions because I was interacting with the students to answer their questions which were mostly about assignments. To begin with, the design and organization element was observed 17 times through instances of discussing assignment d eadlines, responding to extension and resubmission requests, helping with group formation and rescheduling the live meeting. A sample dialogue addressing design and organization indicators is provided below. In th is sample I was talking to a student whos e group members were dropping the course. She did not know how to proceed with group projects. I offered her an extension on the group assignment due the following day and suggested helping her to join another group. Thursday, September 24, 2009 at 7:41 P M T : Hello, Aylin: Hi [Name]
193 T : I am sorry to bother you but i have a slight problem [ Ten turns are skipped. The dialogue was about two group members who were dropping the course and group assignment which was due the next day.] Aylin: If they ( group m embers) drop, I can ask [Group Name] to include you. What do you think? T : that would be great if they do not mind. Aylin: I think they will accept you :) and you can get extension on group assignments due tomorrow. T: oh my godness [ sic ] thank you i had no idea what to do Direct instruction was the most common element of teaching presence with 62 instances in the chat data It involved the topics of clarif ying assignments assessment, and feedback confirming or reminding deadlines and specific in structions teaching content (discussing quiz questions) helping students locat e documents on Blackboard and providing technical help. Below are two examples for manifestation of the teaching presence. Both conversations which took place with the same st udent at different times exemplify direct teaching. This student had problems with the quiz questions because she did not attend the Phonology and Morphology class meeting, did not watch the recording, and did not complete required readings. Sample 1: Tue sday December 1, 2009 at 8:52 PM A : question --i cant find nething [ sic ] in the book on paralanguage? Aylin : chpt 11 it mean s non verbal lang A : oh! wow. thanks. lol. "non verbal" is much more direct Aylin :
194 Sample 2: Friday, September 25, 2009 a t 8:55 PM A : question 7: English language permits multiple consonants occurrence successively. Two and three consonant clusters in initial and final positions may pose a problem to English as a second language learner. What can we do to help those students to pronounce these sounds? ---This question is confusing to me, and i cannot find it in the book. Aylin: yes it is in the book, and I explained it in the recording. Ok, book page 44 A : ok i see it. even though i still dont understand it. : / hopefull y after i listen to the recording i can comprehend all of it Aylin : I believe you should because other students seemed to got it. I gave examples. Basically, 1) omit one of the consonants (most native speakers p 2) phonetic syllabication: when we have a word ending with consonant sound and the following word begins with a vowel, we combine the last consonant sound with the first vowel of the second word as in ha ve it pronounced as ( he vit) or give up (gi vap) these make it easy to pronounce A : yes i see that in the book Aylin : my other strategy is to focus on each consonant first, e.g. structure. practice /s/, then /st/, then /ructure/ finally structure [ Five turns are s kipped. I provided her with the instructi ons to watch Ellu m i nate Live recordings.]
195 A : ok will do. minimal pairs -i cannot find anywhere in the book except for the definition do they describe how it can help the classroom? or are we suppose to make up our own inference? Aylin : Have you stud ied the PowerPoints under sec 2? Phonology PPT should have that part. A : i did not realize we even had powerpoints! I ve [ sic ] just been reading the book ooops Aylin : you can create many games with minimal pairs. they are critical for teaching/practici ng phonemes, because when a child cannot differentiate b and d, you can use activities with minimal pairs so that he/she can understand that b and d are different sounds, they change the meaning [ Name repeating the final letter of her name a few tim es] :( we always have PPT presentation A : yes i said make a game out of it :) good i thought u gave the PPT's while we were on elluminate, i didnt [ sic ] realize u had them available for us. ok i will look them up too. Thanks! Aylin: you are welcom e! good night! good luck with the game tomorrow! And please review all assigned readings for next sections as soon as section starts :) Facilitating discourse was not common in the chat conversation because Gmail chat was not used as a medium of conductin g section discussions. Facilitating discourse
196 was manifested 15 times through instances of setting climate and encouraging students as can be seen in the following examples : You may have extra day or two if you need. Don't stress. comfortable to c ontact me any time you need to discuss anything This is a process approach that is why it is only 45. Pa rt 2 the whole document is 150 points Don't worry about your grade, you will make up that :) stay connected with me and yo ur friends. You wil Social presence Social presence was observed in all chat conversations as the most common element of CoI The majority of the dialogues included greetings, use of vocatives, closure, appreciation, informal language, and emoticons. Table 13 displays samples of social presence indicators identified in the chat data. Table 13 Sample Indicators of Social Presence Categories Identified i n the Chat Conversations Categories Sample Indicators Personal/Affective Expression nd my car wont [ sic ] start...I'm like, crying and is confusing to me Open I am sorry to bother you but i have a slight
197 Communication ? Group Cohesion -i know we did it wrong last time n [ sic ] we want To begin with, there were a total of 71 instances coded for personal/affective expression S elf disclosure and emoticons were frequ ently used by the students Students expressed their confusion with certain content or quiz questions, stress, emotions, and anxiety for the midterm exam. (by one student). Humor was manifested only through use (18) (2) Hal particular student. Personal/affective expressions produced by me were less than the students used. Those included mostly emoticons (2 9 ), emotion ( 7 ) and self disclosure (1). E motive expressions contained capitali zation, repetitive punctuation, lengthening a name Some examples are as follows:
198 Haleyyyyyy (Pseudo name) Open communication was the most common among social presence catego ries identified in 11 8 instances such as a sk ing questions (both content related and locating resources) sha ring group concerns, agreeing, apologizing, appreciating, requesting extension on assignments, and asking for technical help Among these instances asking questions and appreciating (thanking for the help) were the most frequent (48 and 5 4 times, respectively ). Different from the open communication instances by the student s o pen communication manifested by me as the instructor included mostly ins tances of acknowledging gratitude (18). In addition, it involved thanking four times and asking questions twice. Group cohesion included salutation, vocatives, informal language use, inclusive pronouns, and very few instances of group identity and collab oration. There were a total of 6 5 instances observed as group cohesion. Salutation (20) and the closure phrases (18) were the most frequent instances followed by vocatives (10) and phatics (4) Use of informal language with spelling errors, missing punctua tion and shortened words or (Talk to you later) w ere observed in the data. Inclusive pronouns were frequently identified as well There were 81 instances of (31 of which were used by the instructor, and 22 of which used by the students to refer to the class instead of their group). There were also 7 instances of and 22 instances of produced by the instructor. Moreover, in four of the dialogues, group identity and group collaboration were revealed as seen in th is
199 example: I understand. I guess I assumed that each group member had done what they were assigned to do. I should not have assumed that Group cohesion instances were more often used by me than the studen ts, but they show ed a similar pattern as student data There were 80 instances in total and most of them included salutation (25), vocative (26), closure ( 20 ) (5) and phatics ( 4 ) I used vocatives more often than the student s (addressing me with my name) Cognitive presence Cognitive presence was the least common element in chat conversations. Because chat conversations were impromptu and initiated by students most of the time and their intention for this medium w as not le arning the content, cognitive presence could not progress through four phases triggering event, exploration, integration, and resolution At the first phase of the critical inquiry model, a triggering event takes place as conceptualizing a problem or issue This was observed when students asked questions or requested help with certain topics. questions were associated with teaching presence. Therefore, the dialogues exemplifying cognitive presence were provided previously as sa mples under teaching presence, direct instruction discussion. In these dialogues triggering events were not followed by the exploration phase. They were simply followed by my clarification which included giving definition, pointing out the references, and often contained appreciating. Summary of Gmail Chat and CoI Gmail Chat served as an effective medium for conducting extended office hours and enhancing interaction between students and me. Analysis of chat logs show ed that
200 both teaching and social presence s were manifested frequently C ognitive presence indicators were observed the least because they were limited in a few chat conversations when students asked content clarification questions. Most s tudents perceived Gmail Chat as an effective tool to promote social, teaching and cognitive presences. Students who did not use it for content learning purposes stated that Gmail Chat was not beneficial to their learning mainly because they did not use it for that purpose. Regarding social presence, participants believed it helped them feel the presence of the instructor and their group members. For teaching presence they appreciated my being available to them most and providing immediate solutions to their questions Ellu minate Live Meetings Before the semester when I was designing the course, I planned to conduct f ive Elluminate Live meetings during the semester These were planned for 1 ) giving the course orientation, 2) presentation and discussion of the phonology and morphology section, 3) having a midterm review, 4) group presentations and class discussions on SLA theories, and 5) presentations of LEP Analysis case project s An additional session was created for another midterm review meeting Five students attended t h e second midterm review meeting, and the rest of the students were able to watch the recording. Two recorded content presentations via Ellumi na te Live were provided to students for section 2, phonology and morphology and section 7, assessment In additio n, some of the student groups used Elluminate Live for their group communication and collaboration. First, I will briefly describe each class meeting and then I will report the findings of the analysis of the m The recordings were carefully watched with f requent pauses and replays to transcribe all written, oral, and visual interactions. The files were saved as rtf
201 file s and uploaded to ATLAS.ti for data analysis. Below is the list of all of the uses of Elluminate Live during the semester excluding the int erview meetings with participants. The meetings that were not planned prior to the beginning of the semester are shown as preparing presentation recordings are indicated Course Orientation (August 29 th ) Phonology and Morphology (September 18 th ) Recording of Phonology and Morphology (September 19 th ) Additional and not live Midterm Review (October 16 th ) Midterm Review (October 18 th ) Additional Group X used E lluminate Live for their section 2 group discussion (September 21 st ) Additional Group Y used Elluminate Live for their LEP Analysis collaboration (September 30 th ) Additional SLA Theories (November 20 th ) Recording of Assessment (November 21 st ) Not live G th ) Additional LEP Analysis Presentations (December 8 th ) Before discussing the data from the selected meetings, I will first briefly describe the additional meetings and recorded course materials that were als o used during the semester Because the phonology section of the meeting recording failed, I decided to
202 prepare a separate recording for the class. I talked to a colleague of mine who would also need the recording for her class. O n September 19th we recor ded a presentation and shared it with our classes Also, for section 7, we prepared a recording on content presentation of assessment models t echniques and adaptations for ESL students on November 21 st A n a dditional Midterm Review Meeting was conducted on O ctober 18th to complete reviewing the questions not finished in the previous Midterm Review meeting due to my loss of internet connection towards the end of the session. Five students participated in this live meeting. In addition, one of the groups w a s not able to attend the class meeting to do their LEP Analysis p resentation due to a schedule conflict, therefore, they were given an opportun ity to do their presentation at a different time than the class meeting. I was the only listener of their live pr esentation but the recording was available to the rest of the class. We had a long in depth critique session. Being the only group in the session and having plenty of time most of the conversations took place through the audio too l. Course Orientation Me eting On August 29 th student s attended the course orientation meeting to get comfortable with Elluminate Live, learn about course design, objectives, assignments, course content, and ask any questions they had concerning the course. The meeting lasted fo r two hours twenty minutes in the morning. Seventeen out o f 21 students ( 3 students dropped the course later) attended the meeting. Two students had technical problems and could not launch the program, and one student was excused for health issues. I mostl y used the microphone and only a few times used the chat tool while students mostly used
203 the chat and emoticons. Apart from the introductions, the audio tool was used 12 times by the students to ask me questions. Only one student did not have a microphone. In the chat log, t here were a total of 170 messages 9 of which were typed by me. Teaching presence Teaching presence was dominant in the meeting due to the meeting objectives that focused on teaching how to use Elluminate tools and introducing the cour se objectives, course design, and assignments I uploaded PowerPoint documents to Whiteboard to do the presentation The d esign and organization category was at the peak level because the meeting purpose was explaining the design and organization of the co urse -the curriculum, assignments, methods, course schedule, and netiquette. Direct instruction was observed with present ing course content briefly and de fining certain terms and giving examples to clarify section topics understa nding and asked them to use emoticons. If they were confused they would use unhappy face and if everything was clear they would use happy face emoticon. During the first 15 minutes we went over the Elluminate tools. I made sure the students were able to do audio set up, and use the microphone text messaging and emoticons In addition, I tried to create a welcoming atmosphere for the meeting as well as for the class Each I addr essed students by their names and ensur ed that student questions were welcomed anytime. One of the students said that she was stressed about her ESOL binder and I comforted her and explained what she needed to do. Th is pattern of setting the climate for le arning reflects the facilitati on of discourse a category of teaching presence Table 14 summarizes teaching presence indicators observed at this meeting.
204 Table 14 Sample Indicators of Teaching Presence Categories Identified in Orie ntation Meeting Categories Sample Indicators Design & Organization Setting curriculum ( presenting the course design and assignments ) Establishing time parameters ( describing how course schedule is set ) Utilizing medium effectively (using Whiteboard, mic rophone and chat) Facilitating Discourse Encouraging students to ask questions Setting climate for learning have a question Direct Instruction Presenting content and asking questions Confirming understanding (comprehension checks ) Providing technical support (showing how to use Elluminate tools) Social presence Keeping in mind that this was the first live meeting of the class, so cial presence indicators were more than I anticipated. Student to student and student to teacher interaction was high giving evidence to
205 communicate with other participants as well as the instructor which contributed to b oth open communication and group cohesion. Personal /a ffective expression was manifested mostly through use of emoticons. In addition, there were a few instances of expressing emotion, us ing self disclosure repetitive punctuation, and humor. A nice example for self disclosure was noticed when a student asked the deadlines of lesson plan assignments and as soon as she saw the deadlines listed on the course calendar she expressed her emotion : ohhhhh i am seeing it now! duh! sorry!!!!! In addition, a fter I explained the LEP Analysis assignment and asked the class how they were feeling about it I definitely appreciate knowing up front, I'll just have to process everything Another instance was observed with one student who was stressed about the ESOL binder requirement because she was concerned that she did not take all of the courses listed on the program checklist. As she talked, she expressed how she was feeling about it: Other students also revealed emotional responses related to binder requirements since they were not aware of or did not pay attention to these requirements before. The following excerpt s indicate th eir feelings : experience log back from her previous ESOL instructor) our binders...no t to mention that we started taking classes as far back as two years
206 Laughing out loud as in the form of was used twice by two different students One of the students made a funny comment having coffee in hand as talking and this led a few more messages in the chat area leading a social conversation such as, i [ sic ] wish lol Another example could be observed in the following excerpt when a student logged in late and asked a question. Initials of stu dent names are used to indicate turn taking : J: is this a recording C : no [Name] welcome K: haha J: hey ok. sorry im [ sic ] lost As the instructor, I tried to have a pleasant tone of voice and used humor. F or example, I had high and joyful pitch as I said: Lastly, a happy face emoticon button was used 12 times and in the chat dialogues it was typed 17 times 3 of which were used by me D epending on the context, a happy face emoticon would indicate a positive response as yes or an e motive statement such as I like it or funny while an unhappy face emoticon would mean no confused or We can infer that o pen communication was present because there were many instances of students asking questions, agreein g with each other, and providing peer support. Student collaboration was evident when they help ed each other with Elluminate tools and also course related questions. For instance, when a student typed students answered her on the chat. Again on the chat one student asked where the course calendar was and before I verbally responded
207 her a nother student typed [ sic open course, then click on course information, she forming their group as seen in this message mail me if you are also inter Group cohesion was present especially in the beginning and at the end of the meeting. In the beginning, all students introduced themselves which included salutations and phatics Students also used vocatives (9 times to address another student and 2 times to address me ). A t the end of the meeting, appreciation and closures were common as seen in the following excerpt: B: Going to go check e cafe now. Thanks. I'll talk to you later! Bye. Aylin (speak ing): Good bye [Name]! Em: ok. w ell [ sic ] I am going to head out too. t alk [ sic ] to all of you later Aylin (speaking): Bye [Name]! E l : hagd Aylin (speaking): What does i t mean, [Name] ? E l: Have a good day Aylin (speaking): Oh, I did not know that. Than ks for teaching. E l : your welcom [ sic ] (yw) J: I need to go too. Have a good day C: I didn t know that either! A: I'm going to head out to o Great meeting everyone! have a great weekend Aylin (speaking): Good bye [Name]!
208 El: good bye everyone. It was nice meeting you Aylin. I enjoyed Ellumincate [ sic ] C: have a good rest of the weekend Aylin: Thanks! Aylin (speaking): Goodbye [Name] and [Name]! In terms of language use, there were a few spelling errors, use of informal language as well as a cronyms and s hortened words such as (have a good day), w/ (with), b/c (because). Inclusive pronouns (we, our) were used 27 times by the students in the chat messages and 8 times in student audio talk. It was certain that 3 students probab ly already contacted to each other to form a group and they always used inclusive pronouns in their questions as seen in the following chat dialogue. I second letters of her name which might reflect close relationship between them In the following excerpt my responses which were oral are not included: E : do [ sic ] we need to make it evident to you during each group project who is what role in the group? C: you [ sic ] know em we could each be using our laptops as we have discussions and type what we are saying E : that would work for me, if thats [ sic ] ok with Aylin...b/c we can even record the discussions too Cognitive presence Because of the meeting objectives, cognitive presence was not the main element in this meeting. Students were learning about the course objectives, assignments and the course design, and additionally their ESOL endorsement requirement. However, to explain course content, I define d the se linguistics terms and
209 provided some examples: phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, discourse, and pragmatics. Students did not ask any question related to these terms probably because they were introduced to them in their previous ESOL course or the re was not any triggering event. Nonetheless, they asked several questions related to the course requirements. These questions could be considered under the triggering event phase of the practical inquiry model Some course related questions were as follows: ind the calendar. Where exactly is the calendar? [ sic ] [ sic ] However, most of the questions were asked about ESOL binder set up. This was when many students used the hand raise button to use the microphone to ask their questions. A few select samples follow: sic ] we have logged those late field experience hours during ESOL 1? The second phase of the practical model is explor ation. This was observed for short periods of times when students were searching for solutions, brainstorming, and
210 world too. Such examples of exploration instances we re identified in the following dialogue: E: I guess if you choose to do this as a group you can both go in and observe together in a seperate [ sic ] setting other than your internships/practicums B: That person (who knows the student) could record the conve rsation, then the group could meet to listen and discuss E: that is a good idea [Seven messages are omitted] Em: so i assume that we are only submitting ONE copy of each part for the entire J: i think so em Em: thats [ sic ] what i figured Em; The following phase, integration was often provided by me in responding to the students inquiries, but there were some students who provided focused evidence with a reference. For example, to explain where the calendar was, one student wrote this for her cl assmates: sic this: on blackboard, open course, then click on course information, she has posted a nice The final phase of this model, resolution which re fers application or testing the newly learned solution in new contexts was not observed at this meeting because it was not the meeting objective
211 Phonology and Morphology Meeting Held on September 18 th t his meeting aimed to present phonology and morp hology, answer student questions, clarify their problem areas, and solve practice questions. Sixteen out of 18 students attended the meeting. The audio recording of the meeting failed except for the additional 30 minutes on morphology section. However, a t otal of 396 turns were recorded in the written chat logs The average number of turns per student was 22, with 69 being the highest, and 2 being the lowest. B ased on the analysis of recorded text messages, tions, it was evident that this meeting was success ful in terms of student satisfaction and manifestation of CoI A m ajority of the s tudents indicated their satisfaction with the meeting their perceived learning teaching presence and social presence. Teaching presence. Teaching presence was observed throughout the meeting. It started with planning the session which was initiated prior to the beginning of the course creating the PowerPoint documents with content presentation and practice questions, an d providing the students with guidelines and instructions which all indicate the design and organization category During the phonology and morphology meeting, there were some technical challenges. To begin with, although I logged on one hour and twenty mi nutes in advance to upload PowerPoint documents, I just made it on time because the upload was very slow. Then, as I was stressed about the time, and not being able to interact with students (Elluminate Live does not allow use of any tools during the uploa d), I forgot to click on record button. I started recording when we finished the phonology part and one student inquired about the recording being available to them for a review. By that time, w e had been in the session for one hour and fifty minutes. Ther efore, the recording was
212 only of 30 minutes of the morphology section with two students who preferred to stay. Another problem we had was that during the phonology exercises, when groups were formed to practice questions, some students reported that they c ould not see the whiteboard in breakout rooms. Th us instead of group work, we discussed the questions as a whole class. Direct instruction was the major category of the teaching presence for this meeting. I presented the content using the microphone, Whi teboard, webcam, and web tour tools. Using the web cam I modeled how to pronounce certain phonemes and how to differentiat e among voiced and voiceless consonants ( putting your fingers on your throat to feel vibration). We toured a phonology website where we listened to some of the phonemes, watched the video clips of how they are articulated, and studied a description of vowels, and the manner, place and voicing features of consonants. In addition, there were practice questions (typing on Whiteboard, selec ting choices, matching items text messaging, or using the microphone to answer ) Throughout the meeting, all teaching presence categories were employed. Facilitation of discourse was apparent with student encouragement, summarizing, clarifying confusion s, answering student questions, and prompting questions. I encouraged students to participate and appreciated their effort by saying for exa mple, B ecause I was using the microphone for all the ti me teaching presence indicators were not in the written text messages, but based on 30 minute recording, my reflection in researcher/instructor journal and student reflections, I was able to analyze teaching presence. Some example
213 indicators of teaching p resence categories identified in the meeting transcript are displayed in Table 1 5 Table 15 Sample Indicators of Teaching Presence Categories Identified in Phonology and Morphology Meeting Categories Sample Indicators Design & Orga nization Setting curriculum ( presenting the agenda) Designing methods (whole class and group work activities) Establishing time parameters (meeting time; group work time) Utilizing medium effectively (using Whiteboard, Web tour, webcam, groups, and cha t) Facilitating Discourse Identifying areas of agreement/ disagreement (Do you agree?) Encouraging, acknowledging, or reinforcing student contributions (Thank you! Correct! Good job!) Setting climate for learning ( Don't hesitate to answer thinking it might be wrong. We are all just trying. ) Drawing in participants, prompting discussion ( Come on! You can do this Anyone wants to try? )
214 Direct Instruction Presenting content and asking questions Summarizing the content Confirming understanding th rough assessment and explanatory feedback (comprehension checks and practice questions) Diagnosing misconceptions ( Ok, but th makes it a noun Warm is adjective and warmth is a noun. So is it still inflectional? ) Injecting knowledge from diverse sou rces ( Using Web tour; referencing the t ext book and other materials) Responding to technical concern s Social presence During the session, several students shared their emotions by revealing when they were confused, when they found the topic challenging and when they liked the material. The indicators are apparent in these sample messages by the students: in g questions and interact ing with the instructor and classmates. They asked for clarification and showed appreciation when their questions and confusions were cleared up as seen in sic would incorporate non Another self sic ] just moved (literally a U haul in my driveway) and I cant [ sic an I'm very
215 sorry but I have to go, I think my Bf [boyfriend] just broke his arm!! I provided h umor by using funny cartoons related to the content. Student reactions to the cartoons and other py face emoticon, As the only male: it would be impossible to have secrets in this room! HaHa. This last sample message was sent after a message intended to be sent to a selected group member, but instead, it came to the main room. The student who warned him responded haha it's ok [Name] just wanted you to know in case you had something VERY private in the future lol poor Group cohesion was present especially i n the beginning of the meeting when students were testing their microphones and interactions included vocatives, salutations phatics, and student collaboration for adjusting their audio level Some excerpts from the introduction showing indication of group cohesion are: Oh hey [Name ] [ sic ] dont [ sic ] think my mic is working [ sic ] too loud when i [ sic ] sic ] going alright A cronyms and shortened words to express emotion such as ur (you re) Bf (boyfriend) emoticons ( ) were commonly used. Instead of using emoticon buttons to convey emotion one student tended to type these g raphical sym bols : =) and : / Students did not pay great attention to grammar and spelling rules and used colloquial language in their writte n messages: Once the scheduled two hour s ended, I indicated that I wou ld finish the rest of the presentation within 15 minutes and they could stay or leave. T hose who would leave could watch the recording. T wo students (one of which was Tom) stayed for the extra
216 session time on morphology. Both students used the microphone a ll the time to answer questions. They were members of the same group and seemed to have developed familiarity and group belonging. We openly and collaboratively discussed each question. Each of us used first name s to address each other. The female student questions. Both students also complimented each other responses In addition, t here was laugh ter a few times First, it was w hen I could not define warm and warmth to show how they are different, and then when Tom used humor twice; one was at the closure, when I thanked them for staying longer, and Tom said: communication, and group cohesion categories of social presence. Table 1 6 displays some samples of these indicators from the meeting Table 16 Sample Indicators of Social Presence Categories Identified i n Phonology and Morphology Meeting Categories Sample Indicators Personal/Affective Expression Cool yep =) YAY awesome so This looks like Greek to me! HaH This seems so overwhelming : / Open Communication it's splendid... like good chocolate ( referring to the website studied ) wonderful thank you so much Oh ok lol... is this a video
217 thing?... or just audio.. sorry this is my first Group Cohes ion is it just me or do they sound the same? hey there, How are you? good night Hang in there [Name] Cognitive presence The p honology and morphology section was probably the hardest section of the cours e for all students. As an instructor I observed that s ome students needed a lot of help with the content and they were not ready to discuss the practice questions. They were still at the exploration category of cognitive presence because they did not come to the meeting having studied the assigned material s They were given a week to do the readings, study the tutorial on the given website, and bring their questions to the meeting to discuss. However, several students had not done any preparation and even d id not know that the tutorial website was already posted for them to study before the meeting This caused us to spend more time on phonology as I presented the whole chapter, provided several examples, and answered student ques tions Because only text m essages and a partial audio recording transcript was available, analysis of cognitive presence is limited. Moreover, assessing the process of critical thinking is challenging. It depends on how much of the ir cognitive processes participant s choose to revea l in the discourse. As argued by Garrison Anderson and Archer (2001, p. 7), T here may be a variety of technical, access, or deeper social, psychological, and educational inhibitors to participation in the conference, which means that the transcript of t he conference is a significantly less than complete record of the learning that has taken place within the community of inquiry As the first phase of the critical inquiry
218 model, triggering wait... is Thank voiceless? and i [sic] never noticed the differences between the "th" sounds The e xploration p hase manifested itself through brainstorm ing questioning, and exchang ing ideas as in these messages: So placement of tounge [ sic ] and lip are important for speech therapy t no idea I think so So we need to memor ize these symbols? sorry i [ sic ] have a southern accent and i [sic] can find the difference o it's ok i [ sic ] was just trying to help ya My guess might be t Team [Name] pg 56 would help The i ntegration phase indicat es that learners synth esized their understandings of the phonology and morphology concepts and had a convergence on the answer for the questions. This could be observed in such messages: ya voiceless i [ sic ] remember that example if in doubt, hold fingers to throat The r esolution stage was limited in the data. This was due to the nature of the task. The purpose of the meeting was to present content (direct teaching and exploration ) and give student s a chance to solve practice questions and receive immedi ate feedback when they needed (facilitation of discourse and integration ) B ecause the session objective did not aim for students application of the learned material to classroom teachin g resolution was observed only when some student s critically assesse d the material and made comments on how they would apply them to a teaching or special education context For instance, th ese comment s indicated a high level of thinking when phonemes were being explained: With this example it is easy to see why learning to read
219 English is difficult This part is so important for teaching kindergarten and first [ grade ] for reading and The r esolution level of cognitive presence for the ph onology and morphology section was planned for further assignments such as asynchronous class discussions, LEP Analysis case study, and lesson plans Scaffolding and collaborative learning incidences were found in the data. A sample excerpt showing these indicators of cognitive presence is provided in Table 17 A dialogue among students initiated by a student question reveals the first 3 phases of cognitive presence as well as showing the group cohesion category of social presence At the resolution leve l, one student shows emotion as a way of showing excitement for finding the answer which indicates the social presence personal/affective category Table 17 Sample Indicators o f Cognitive Presence Categories Identified i n Phonology a nd Morphology Meeting Categories Sample Indicators Triggering Event P ractice questions E: wait... is Thank voiceless? Exploration A: i think so J: which sound in thank are you talking about C: th? E: yes
220 like, s has a lot of different sounds My guess might be t Team [Name] pg 56 would help Integration Tom [Name] Yes it is J: ya voiceless Kristina : thin and thank.. i remember that example E: woowhoo Tom : if in doubt, hold fingers to throat Resolution With this example it is easy to see why learning to read English is difficult This part is so important for teaching kindergarten and first for reading words in a Midterm Review Meeting Conducted on October 16th, t necessary for the midterm exam discussing different types of questions as a whole class, and through direct teaching and group discussions The top ics that would be included on the midterm were ESOL modification techniques for material adaptation, lesson plan ning, phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics and discourse The whole class review activity lasted one hour and th e group activit y took from 20 to 30
221 minutes. Groups were given 15 minutes in online breakout rooms, and then they would be brought back to the class so that each group would answer their question s However, my Internet connection was down before groups were taken out of the breakout rooms. I was able to inform a few students through Gmail Chat and sent all students an email using my cell phone. the groups were able to discuss their questions and emailed me their responses. The whole session took one and a half hour s instead of two hours. Eleven students participated in the session. During the whole class activity t here were a total of 85 text based chat turns 6 of which were by the instructor, and 66 aud io/ mic rophone turns 47 of which were by the instructor Average turn per student was 10.2 The highest number of turn s by one student was 27 and the lowest was 1 and that was a salutation in the beginning of the session. One of the students participated only during the breakout activity which was not observable. Teaching p resence The d esign and organization category was in effect during the planning phase and creating the materials, as well as during the session with providing the session agenda and sch edule -making use of groups and whole class activities, explaining how to participate, and using the medium (Elluminate Live tools) effectively. Although the initial planning of this meeting took place before the semester started, it continued with modif ic ation of the materials and methods a few weeks prior to the meeting I prepared a PowerPoint document with 50 review questions (10 questions per group) Question types were matching, t rue/ f alse, multiple choice, multiple answer, and short answer I emailed the questions to student groups just before the meeting so that they would not have any problems reading their group questions during the group
222 discussions. One hour before the onset of the meeting, I uploaded the document and created breakout rooms ( with their group names ) so as to save time during the meeting. The meeting started with session agenda and practice questions as a whole class. In the session agenda, I talked about the whole class and group competition activities. Upon finishing solving 14 qu estions collaboratively as a whole class by the end of the first hour students were put into breakout rooms ( their own groups ) for 15 minutes to discuss their questions At the end of the 15 minutes they would be brought back to the class so that each gr oup would answer their question s The group with the highest points would be the winner, but due to my Internet loss we were not able to accomplish that final step of the task Direct instruction was evidenced with my asking the questions, presenting co ntent, summarizing, paraphrasing responses, assessing student comprehension, agreeing and disagreeing. During the whole class activity, I read each question and asked for volunteers to answer. Volunteers typed their answers in the chat area on Whiteboard o r used the microphone to talk. After each question, I paraphrased student responses and provided detailed explanations reviewing the key concepts. On answer slides, we had charts and graphics as visual support especially for phonology and morphology sectio ns. This whole class practice was to provide direct teaching opportunity and make students feel comfortable before they were put into groups I tried to use different tools for students to choose the most comfortable way to participate. Facilitation of dis course was present for encouraging, acknowledging, and reinforcing student contributions a ssess ing the efficacy of the process s etting climate for learning, and d rawing in participants Several times, I encouraged them to participate by saying o u can do it Come
223 I emphasized that if they had any questions during the meeting, they should feel free to raise their hand or type their question in the chat area. F or teaching application questions, I was se tting the climate for learning as I wanted them to feel comfortable and to not stress about giving a wrong answer : I oft en checked student S asked them to use emoticons or applause to indicate their response, and if they had question s to use hand raise button or type them in chat window Social presence. In the meeting transcript the p ersonal/a ffective expression category was exemplified by self disclosure, em oticon and humor indicators. Self disclosure was observed during the discussion of a question with these utterances and when I asked if they were feeling ready for the exam, self disclosure responses were; just need to focus on A h appy face emoticon was used 3 times by the instructor and 4 times by the students. The meaning of an emoticon depends on the context. Sometimes it is evident, but sometimes it is difficult to interpret whether it is o For example, in these conte xts, it indicates happy facial expression: art i [ sic ] think ur [ sic ] right but ithout showing happy emotion. Finally, another indicator was humor, though it was not common. Once when a student was saying, (stretching the word) can
224 you hear me (stretching the word) she was laughing and stretching the words Another example was the use and drawings on Whiteboard before the session started. Open communication was the most common ly observed category Compliment s were used by the instructor a few times such and once via the Applause button when students answered questions right Compliment s sometimes were followed by a used seven times by the instructor and four times by students when their questions were clarifie d. Students indicated a greement with their classmates using such phrases, was just going to ask the [ sic r [ sic ] right I agree There were also three occurrences of di sagreement with no able means can The majority of the student s showed high participation, which might indicate that they were feeling com fort able conversing through Elluminate Live and interacting with other students and the instructor Only two students were lurking or might not be actually at their computers all the time However, t heir participation was observed during breakout rooms, wh ich may show that they might be feeling uncomfortable verbalizing their thoughts in class discussion and thus they waited for the group activity or they were not feeling well prepared for the review session. Some students felt more comfortable than others and participated more. D ue to the multiple modality of the discussions, active students probably did not prevent others from participating. That is, while someone was talking they could chat or type on the Whiteboard or use hand raise button to take turn Moreover, not all messages had the
225 purpose of responding to a question. There were several social presence indicators in these turns as well. In addition, a feeling comfortable pattern can be inferred from these uys hopefully, it is ok for me to jump in again Finally, another pattern was ask ing questions which indirectly relates to feeling comfortable too Students asked questions to the instructor and to their classmates. Some exam ] can would it be the /z/ sound? In the beginning of the session, group cohesion patterns were apparent as students drawing on the Whiteboard using clip art and symbols. I commented on their drawings adding humor. The use of salutations, closure, (e.g., indicated that they were comfortable using the tool and participating with each other as well as the instructor, evidencing group cohesion. Other support fo r group cohesion was found when students collaborated to answer questions during the whole class and group by the instructor. Cognitive presence The meeting aimed fo r a review of all topics covered in the midterm exam. Several types of questions were written for the session. The plan was to provide student s with ample opportunities to review the topics through in depth discussion and collaborative learning. Therefore, we b egan the session solving some questions as a whole class as a warm up. Teaching presence was also manifested through
226 direct teaching an d facilitation of discourse whenever needed. In a way teaching presence and cognitive presence were manifested hand in hand The f our phases of the practical inquiry model in describing c ognitive presence were depicted as follows: A t riggering event which initiates the inquiry process was activated by the presented questions and sometimes by students questions when they were puzzled. The e xploration phase occurred when students were tr ying to understand the problem and searching for solutions including as they brainstorm ed Students demonstrated i ntegration by providing structured and focuse d evidence giving a reference or explaining the reason. The solution to the problem or expected answer to the question was reached collaboratively at the integration phase. The final phase of this model, resolution refers to real life application or test ing the solution in new contexts, but because this meeting did not aim for this, resolution was found only when some students made a connection with their own experiences and shared how they observed the application of certain teaching techniques and strat egies. A n excerpt from the meeting transcript depicting interactions between students and the instructor and among students is sho wn in Table 1 8 In this discourse, the class was answer ing a morphology question collaboratively tion Out of 11 students 6 participated in th is discussion. Students preferred to use written chat instead of speaking, which might be because the question was challenging for them and they did not feel comfortable enough, or it might be because several s tudents were participating at the same time, and written chat seemed to be working better for this question Social presence patterns that are identified in this discourse include o pen
227 communication risk free expression, agreement, disagreement, asking qu estions, appreciating, feeling comfortable interacting with other course participants and the instructor Table 18 Manifestation o f t he Co I Elements a nd Categories i n a Sample Dialogue w hile Solving a Question Written Chat Audio Moderator: come on (TP Facilitating discourse encouraging) Moderator: what is the root? (TP facilitating discourse prompting discussion) A: forget (CP Integration) Moderator: (reading the question on the slide) Morphology question. Find the morphemes in unforgettable. Place them under correct category on Whiteboard. Find the stem or the root morpheme first. Then ask yourself if it is lexical or fun ctional. For other morphemes, answer if it is bound or not, and if it is bound, if it is inflectional or derivational. (TP Direct Instruction Asking questions) (CP Triggering) (waiting for 15 seconds)
228 Moderator: correct (TP Facilitating discourse feedback) (SP Personal/ Affe ctive) K: un is a bound morpheme (CP Integration) C: un forget able (CP Integration) K: fortune is lexical (CP Integration) K: er K: yeah K: un is derivational K: derivational? (CP Exploration) Moderator: Nobody is using the microphone. Ok, you said forget is the root, which is good. (TP Facilitating discourse acknowledging) Is forget functional or lexical? (wait for 5 seconds) Moderator: I think K typed the word wrong. It is not fortune but forget. And yes it is lexical. Very good. (TP Facili tating discourse acknowledging) (Typing it on the correct column on Whiteboard) You can take the microphone. I am releasing it. (waits for 10 seconds) Moderator: Thank you, K. Yes, un is bound derivational. (TP Facilitating discourse acknowledging). W hat about able? Which category does it belong to? (TP Facilitating discourse prompting) (waits for 20 seconds releasing the microphone) Yes, able is derivational, because it changes the category and meaning. Able can be both free or bound. If we say, I am able to do that, it is free. It
229 C: wait, shouldn't it be table? (CP Exploration) J: no able means can (CP Integration) (S P Group Cohesion feeling comfortable disagreeing ) K: i think it is just a connector, not really a morpheme (CP Integration) C: what about that extra t? (CP Exploration ) K: connector* T: (SP Personal/Affective Emoticon) C: ok, thanks (SP Open communication) K: You just add a t because of the word type (CP Integration) J: can able be functional too or no? (CP Exploration) J: oo ok thank you (S P Open can stand alone as a free word, but in this word, unforgettable, it is attached so it is bound. Table? No, C. Forget does not have any relation with table. In terms of semantics, it gives the meaning of ability. We can so metimes double some letters. Morphemes need to be in meaningful relationship with the words they are attached. (typing on the Whiteboard) (TP Direct instruction clarifying, presenting) Ok, we finished the question. Now, I will put you into your groups. You will have 15 minutes. I emailed the questions to you. Please check your emails and have them with you. (TP Design & Organization) Ok. Any questions? (TP Facilitating discourse) C: It looks like J had a question that is not addressed yet. (SP Group Cohes ion vocatives) Moderator: Able is lexical .. ( Clarifies able and gives examples). (TP Direct instruction clarifying, presenting)
230 C ommunication appreciating ) J: lexical? (CP Exploratio n) J: u [sic] said able under lexical (SP Open Communication quoting from other message) K: no forget is under lexical (SP Group Cohesion feeling comfortable disagreeing ) (CP Integration) J: o ok (SP Group Cohesion agreeing) J: thanks (S P Open Communica tion appreciating) You are welcome! (SP Open Communication) ( Moderator defines functional and lexical words and gives examples) Correct, both of them are lexical. Note SP stands for social presence, TP for teaching presence, and CP for cognitive presence. SLA Theories Meeting Section class discussions were often held asynchronously through the discussion board. In all sections, groups were gi ven topics and questions to study and discuss as a group, create a summary to post on the class discussion board where they would interact with other groups. For first and second language acquisition theories, class discussions took place at an Elluminate Live meeting on November 20 th G roup s prepared PowerPoint documents to present their assigned SLA theory They were required to make their presentation interactive by asking questions to the class or creating an activity to
231 involve participants. Students r eceived immediate feedback from classmates and the instructor as they were doing their presentation The meeting lasted two hours. Four teen students were present Two of them had to leave the meeting early One student showed very limited presence. She d id not use chat or audio tools. She only used applause and happy face emoticon once. Also, another student was away for half an hour due to technical problems. There were a total of 229 written text messages 2 4 of which were typed by the instructor. This number excludes the private messages (not in the record ing ) typing answers on the Whiteboard, and the use of interactive buttons, such as a pplause (5 times by individuals and a few people and 3 times by the whole class) h and r aise (1 time) and p olling f or true and false review questions There was a total of 119 microphone turns 68 of which were by the instructor. Because the students had moderator roles to do presentations, the use of microphone by the students was high in this meeting. Considering 13 students, the average number of turn s per student was 20 This was 1 6 for written chat and 4 for the audio. The student with the highest number of interactions had 44 turns. Teaching p resence The d esign and organization category of this session was mani fested through setting the curriculum and methods for the SLA m eeting which began before the semester started and continued with delivering the detailed guidelines and instructions with time parameters to the students two weeks prior to the meeting. To cov er several SLA theories, I had decided to use Elluminate Live instead of Blackboard discussion board to give student groups an opportunity to do live presentations which had voice immediate interaction with other students and the instructor, a nd questions with immediate feedback H a ving moderator roles and doing live presentations w ould be a
232 new experience for them. They had seen me as a model in previous meetings, therefore it was a good time for them to take a more active role. In the beginning of the se ssion, I reminded the students of our netiquette rules which incorporated how much time they had, and when and how they could comment or ask questions. I also warned them against sending any personal chat messages since they would be open to the student m oderators. Before the session, I was feeling a little nervous that I would have an In ternet connection problem, but this concern went away once we started the session. I signed in one hour and In case we would have time after all groups finished their part, I had created a quiz for a review of SLA theories. However, we did not have extra time nor was it necessary since groups included comprehension check and application type questions in their presentations. The d irect teaching category for this meeting was accomplished mostly by students This meeting was therefore different from the previous meeting s as i t was student centered. Groups had 2 weeks to get ready to present their given theories. They were asked to discuss application of the theories to classroom teaching, especially ESOL teaching. They also needed to make their presentations interactive through questioning or any other activities they could plan. Presenters asked the class compreh ension questions including the types of short answer, true/false statement, fill in the blanks, and multiple choice (see a sample in Figure 12). Facilitating discourse was the main role that I had in this meeting. I provide d positive feedback to all grou ps, which I thought was necessary for students to feel confident, relaxed, and motivated during the session. I also asked if anybody was nervous and assured that they should feel comfortable. As the presentations were going on, I
233 asked questions to promote discussion. My questions were generally on helping them compare the theories, relating the theories to SLA approaches and models, and understanding the historical development in SLA methodology. Student presenters also undertook facilitator roles by promp ting discussion, encouraging their classmates to answer questions and acknowledging the contributions. Figure 12 Screenshot of one of the groups posing anticipation and review questions. Direct teaching was manifested through demonstrating how to manipulate PowerPoint slides on the Whiteboard. I helped some student moderators to locate their documents on the Whiteboard drop down menu Tom also needed help with chat tool During the session, I contributed to the discussion of t he review questions and clarified any misunderstanding. After each presentation, I summarized the key points and if I had noticed any missing information, I brought it up to the discussion. For example, after
234 sociocultural theory presentation, I asked abou t dynamic assessmen t Students had not read about it and it was good to give real practice examples of application of the theory to assessment procedures. When we finished all groups, Tom asked me which theories were prevalent in Turkish education system. I shared quite a bit of information with the cla s s about Turkish education system and how I learned English There was also another instance of sharing personal Theory. One of the students who moved to the U.S. from Puerto Rico shared how her first language, Spanish was affected when she became bilingual. I agreed and added my observations of changes in my first language as well. Sample indicators of teaching presence observed during the SLA Theories m eeting are provided in Table 1 9 Table 19 Sample of Teaching Presence Indicators during the SLA Theories Meeting Categories Sample Indicators Design & Organization to go first? Type your group name in the chat area or on the Utilizing medium effectively by students and the instructor (using Whiteboard, chat emoticons, audio) Facilitating Identifying areas of agreement/ disagreement: By student
235 Discourse This is similar to what these models say, Encouraging, acknowledging, or reinforcing student cont Setting climate for learning: Remember folks we are all in this together! We By the inst not having an exam. You are not doing a presentation at a conference. T his is only a class discussion. Is there anybody Drawing in participants, prompting discussion: By the Instead of these two terms, control and automatic learning, Di rect Instruction Groups presenting SLA theories and asking questions for
236 that to list some ideas to apply these theories in your happens in a l Instructor adding on the discussions, asking questions, and summarizing the key issues Diagnosing misconceptions : Can we go back to the last question T/F. I just want to be sure th at everybody gets this correct Injecti ng knowledge from diverse sources: I wanted to add that I had similar instance going through my Responding to technical concerns: By the instructor to show how to use ch I am just clicking below those arrows. Do you see the laser Right above the microphone there is a thin line to type in If you think it is true use happy face. If false use confused face. Can everybody click o n them to see
237 Social p resence Analysis of the SLA Theories meeting transcript revealed that both the instructor and the students manifested social presence through all of its three categories. Although infrequent, p ersonal/affective responses were observed in examples of expressing emotions, a sense of belonging, using humorous re marks, and self disclosure Students mostly reflected their emotions using emoticons and emotive expressions such as =) was the question again? :/ yes and nope i think we r [ sic ] good : ) In the following chat excerpt, we can observe humorous remarks when students were having a problem with locat ing the arrows t o manipulate presentation slides Please note that u nless they are among three selected participants only initials o f the students are used to protect identity E: where is the arrow? i must be blind T: me too lol E : oh ...you got it lol In the first half hour of the recording before the actual presentations began, most of the discussions were manifestations of social presence. For example, t he following excerpt shows how the class was enjoying VoIP and chat tools for social conversation before the present ations started. parenthesis for audio messages. Instructor (speaking): Hi Tom Yes, we can hear you. How are you? Tom (speaking): I have a really bad cold, but I am here and ready to go Inst ructor (speaking): Oh T hat is too bad. Everybody is sick nowadays. I was in bed for a week. I hope you feel better soon.
238 Tom (speaking) : Thank you very much. Not only I am sick but I am a mess so I am glad my camera does not work. S : yep! K : ew i was si ck fri/sat Instructor : Hope you are feeling much better now, K Upon discussing a few questions on PowerPoint documents and help ing Tom with the chat tool the dialogue above continued as the follow ing which provided more samples of emotions and self disc losure and sense of belonging : Tom: I'm glad you ladies can't get close to me in this forum as I have a fever and i [sic] am sweating... It's just terrible! B: Sorry You're not feeling well Tom T: hope u [sic] feel better K : Ah, Tom I felt that way all da y yesterday. I didnt [ sic ] get out of bed until almost 4 pm yesterday Tom : Thank you ladies... I really feel as if i'm [sic ] p art of a caring community!!! Hee! Hee! After greet ing the students, I asked them how they were feeling and how the s e mester was go ing. The following dialogue also display ed emotions and self disclosure. B: I actually submitted 2 assessments today. I have another due Monday so feeling less overwhelmed now! Huh!!! Instructor: good for you T: lucky
239 Another instance of displaying self disclosure and emotions was observed as o ne of the students expressed her feelings when she was commenting presentation using the microphone : that I really enjoyed your presentation I am feeling a little bit insecure about my PPT Upon starting her o w The transcript also contain ed instances of repetitive punctuation, es pecially such as , [ sic ] based instant messaging. Indicators of the open communication category are present in the data too. For example, in the sample excerpts discussed above, we witness that students were using the tool for social communication, feeling comfortable to ask questions, to comment, and to express agreement. These messages indicate that there was a comfortable learning climate e nabling risk free expression. Group cohesion patterns which are critical to build and sustain a sense of group commitment were found in the transcript To begin with, students were working as a group to do presentations. This activity involved c ollabor ative group learning. In addition, there was frequent interaction among groups and indivi duals since presenters asked questions to the class and students seemed to feel comfortable to ask questions or comment on presentations. There were also instances of a student providing help to another student who asked a question related to Elluminate tools. Furthermore, p hatics were common when t here were salutations in the beginning and closures and
240 Thanksgiving greetings at the end of the meeting. One group shared a greeting slide with the class when they finished thei r presentation (See Figure 13). I greeted individual students by name when they entered the classroom Five of the students participated in greetings in the beginning. Because students did not sign in at the same time and some would sign in and leave their computer until the meeting time, not all of them might have had a chance to salute the classroom. However, the majority (8 out of 12) said goodbye or other closure expressions at the end of the meeti ng. Another indicator of group cohesion was the use of vocatives and inclusive pronouns. As an instructor, I paid attention to address students with their names and groups with their presentation. group name. Students also addressed each other by their fir st name (14 re not feeling well Tom sic ] the bomb!! our (8 times) in these did [Name] get to send you Inclusive pronoun, we y Tom indicates a s ense
241 Figure 13 Screenshot of o ne of the groups sending greetings at the end of their presentation. Cognitive presence Student to student interaction was very high during the S LA Theo ries meeting Students had the role of moderators and were in charge of their presentation, review and comprehension questions. I only contributed when needed to comment, compliment clarify exemplify, do additions, check comprehension and compar e the the ories. The refore, student lead presentations exhibited teaching presence and cognitive presence simultaneously. Social presence that was highly exhibited in the first half an hour of the session supported both teaching and cognitive presence through creati ng a welcoming, caring and t rustful learning atmosphere Cognitive presence b e g a n to be exhi bi ted by the onset of first group presentation on b ehavior ism and Aud i olingual approach to second language learning and teaching. The group started with a pretes t asking the class true and false questions. The presenters did not comment on the responses and did not immediately provide the answers They
242 posed the s a me questions at the end of their presentation. This time they elaborated on the answers and called on students to explain why they believed the answer was true or false. Taking into account that initial stages of practical inquiry probably took place during group discussion s while prepa ring for this live presentation, triggering even t and exploration phas es were not common during the meeting. While the groups were presenting their assigned theories, the integration phase was revealed. Triggering event was initiated each time a group posed a compre hen sion or anticipatory question There were also additional questions triggered by some terms used in responses (such as TPR for Total Physical Response method and popcorn reading). However, most of the questions were asked by presenters and those did not lead to exploration, but proceed ed to integration and resol ution phases as they were answered immediately by individual students Only a few of the questions promoted exploration phase. As the discussions moved toward how to apply the theories to classroom teaching and ESOL strategies, the resolution phase was obs erved. Resolution was also evident when some students shared their personal experiences of language development and theory driven classroom applications and observations. A sample excerpt displaying these indicators is given below: J (speaking): Can anyone think of more a teacher can do inside the classroom? Or does anybody have an example of how this looks like inside a classroom? K: incorporate culture C (speaking) : W ell Julia, since nobody is chiming in, I was just looking at your third one : providing a comfortable environment W h ile small group activities, stude nts do not feel overwhelmed to participate with whole class, so they kind of
243 get into their own comfort zone, and this promotes conversation They anxious They can relax a little bit, or learning comes more naturally. B (speaking) : I was thinking as C [Name ] Small group activities, team building, activities that help students feel a part of a group T: maybe using maps and activities that accentuate culture... these would be neat if left up over a long period of time J ( speak ing) : Thanks guys. Another thing C [Name] and I were reading about was : The following messages appear at the same time. ] Ok, moving on. Thank you. S : also giving verbal praise & encouragement can be beneficial to help the students build confidence Aylin: use of skits, drama, role plays Do not correct all the errors all the time Aylin: Good points : art and music LEP Analysis Presentation Meeting Th e final meeting was held on December 8 th for the live presentations of LEP Analysis projects. One of the groups had conflict with the meeting time and thus, they presented their project on December 4 th Their presentation was recorded for the res t of the class to watch. In addition, this group was assigned to watch the presentations and write comments on them. On December 8 th 6 LEP Analysis projects were presented by 4 groups and 2 individuals. Although intended for 2 hours, the mee ting lasted 3 hours because student participation was high and almost all presenters took longer time than they were required. There were 14 students present ; one student signed in half an hour late, and sentation A
244 t otal of 319 written text chat entries and 4 5 microphone turns took place during the meeting My participation as the instructor included 78 turns, 21 of which were over the microphone. Eleven students used the microphone to present their case study Two student s in one group did not have a microphone therefore they only used text chat. The highest number of turns was made by Tom with 49 turns, including 5 times of use of the microphone The student with the lowest participation rate had 6 tur ns. The average turn made by 14 students was 20.4. This was 18.7 for text message per student and 1.7 for audio message. Teaching presence. A t this meeting m y role as the instructor was to coordinate presentations and provide feedback to the students EP Analysis case studies This m eeting was similar to SLA T heories m eeting in that respect. The d esign and organization category included setting the curriculum providing detailed guidelines and instructions which began before the semester started a nd con tinued with delivering reminders feedback and support during the semester In addition, it involved scheduling the meeting, creating the link, and uploading all of the 6 PowerPoint documents, which took more than one hour That was why I did not use auto recording, but instead I manually started the recording once I finished all the uploading. For the LEP Analysis case study project students were free to choose to work as a group or alone. All student groups except for one worked on this project collabo ratively. In that particular group, there were two members who work ed individually. T his project had a three step submission process The first one was submitting the plan of attack in which they introduce d their student and wrote a plan of action for data collection and analysis. The next step was submitting the first part of the project covering introduction,
245 phonology, morphology, syntax, interview transcription, signed field log, and writing sample. I graded their papers and provided detailed feedback f or any improvement s needed T he final step was submitting the whole project and participating in a live case studies Students submitted their PowerPoint documents for the presentation of the projects. I decided to us e Elluminate Live for student presentations since it would provide the best medium for the class to share their findings, learn from provide comments in real time. In the beginning of the meeting I reminded the students how to do the audio wizard setup, how to talk, and how to manipulate PowerPoint documents on whiteboard. I explain ed the session agenda clarified the rules and set the climate for learning W e have 4 groups and 2 individuals. You h ave 10 to 15 minutes to present. We have 2 hours. In order not to bore the audience, please ask questions, make comments, raise your hand, and be c omfortable to receive questions or The design and organization also included putting the presenter s in order. For this, I asked the student volunteers to type their names with their preferred number to go in the chat area or on Whiteboard. A lthough the class meeting was planned for two hours and written and verbal instructions were provided to students about how long each presentation should take, students ex ceeded the 15 minute presentation time. They seemed to be excited to share more about their case study Also, t he participants n was high Therefore I hesitated to warn some presenters abo ut their time when they went over 15 minutes, but I did warn students who could not finish within half an hour I would have used timer tool for E l luminate Live however, a colleague who used it informed me that it caused stress to
246 some students. A more ef fective method for time management could be asking students to practice their presentation and estimate and adjust their time accordingly before the live meeting Facilitation of discourse was manifested through mainly acknowledging and reinforcing stude nt presentations. In addition, in the beginning, I tried to create a comfortable learning atmosphere. I ensured all students were feeling comfortable with comfortable with t I again focused on learning climate Ok, Tom, you are first. Just feel relaxed and be A few times during the meet semesters, all groups went beyond 15 minutes. You were all motivated to share your projects. I e njoyed it a After each presentation, b oth the students and I always used Meticulously as well as using happy face and applause emoticons I tried drawing in participants Using written chat during the presentation enabled students and me to provide comments and ask questions wi thout disrupting the ongoing presentation. Due to the length of presentations, I kept my overall feedback shorter than usual. However, students received written feedback on their projects The following excerpt given in Table 20 exemplifies ongoing comment s and feedback dialogues as Tom was presenting the last sections of his
247 project and concluding his speech This excerpt displays several examples of social presence, teaching presence and cognitive presence. Table 20 A Sample of Co mments and Feedback Dialogue during LEP Analysis Presentation Meeting Audio Emoticons/Hand Raise/Applause Written Chat Tom When I was Italy I had an C : Hey Tom! I just want to add on to pragmatics section. I am from Puerto Rican cu lture. Once I am having conversation with my dad on the phone, and my friend said, Tom: Excellent example, C!... had a few high school students tell me, They just cannot find right words to expr ess themselves as S tudent C click s on [ Tom released the microphone after sharing his experience ] April use s happy face emoticon. Aylin: right Aylin: Al: ha great story C
248 Get them involved in active reading both at school and at home, and make sure they understand what they read. And lastly culture inclusion is Professor Aylin says, C uses happy face emoticon. J: differentiating instruction woop woop K: woop Al: very true Tom S: good po int K: Ive [ sic ] heard that. K: from adults^ Aylin: feeling pressure all the time K: I agree E [Name] E m : this is exactly why there is such an over representation of ESL students in special education Aylin: what about writing? K: I agree Em [Name]
249 writer myself. I believe in reading and writing. Most of my kids were reluctant writers. I came up with things to motivate them: Quick Aylin: Tom, this is the last one. Did you have m ore slides? Tom: Ok. No. I was saying it on a conclusion is this: This assignment April uses happy face. Aylin: g ood point Em: being culturally responsive is neccesssary [ sic ] as a teacher of all students El: reading and writing go hand in hand Reading makes writing better and vice versa A l : good idea K: progress monitoring Aylin: absolutely Em: woo hoo progress monitoring!! A m : quick writes are great Aylin: finished Aylin:
250 was very interesting Another eye opening reason was Through esol, preservice teacher esol endorsement, we are try ing to help them Aylin : D oes anybody have any comments? (Waiting for a few seconds) Aylin : Excellent Tom You put lots of experiences and emotions into your presentation T his made it much real and enjoyable. You provided many great teaching suggestions. Ok. I think we are going slowly so I will keep it short now Next, group (X) will have moderator roles. Aylin use s applause. All students use applause K: lol Aylin: ESOL SS are going through revisions now K: English is a hard language, even for native English speakers. J: yes I agree A m : so true! K: CONGRATS! S: good job!! April: great jo b Tom, congradulations [ sic ] A l : way to go!! K: awesome! J: Congrats! S: wow! Aylin: congrats! E: congrats. good luck to you as well Aylin: big applause
251 Direct instruction was basically manifested through student presentations. As the instructor, I responded to student questions and helped them with technical concerns four times. T he following dialogues display this indicator: The first example: B (speaking): Are you putting those up or do we put them individually? (asking about uploading PowerPoint) Aylin (speaking): I uploaded all the PowerPoint documents for each group or individual. Once you get the moderator role, you can use this drop down menu to locate yours, or I can do it for yo u. You will click on these next and back buttons (using laser po inter to show). Are you all comfortable with these? How are you feeling? S: [sic] good A: pretty good no questions here C used h appy face emoticon The second example: Tom (speaking): N ext ( Sounds of his clicking on the keyboard ) Moderator (Aylin): d o not use your keyboard J : use the top arrows Moderator (Aylin): I'll do that for you then Direct instruction was also evident when either I or presenters p rovid ed examples for clarification or giving suggestions to improve the proposed activities For in stance, when a group was describing an activity to teach comparative and superlative suffixes by drawing columns on the board and matching nouns with correct morphemes I suggested
252 using toy s as manipulative s to improve the activity On another occasion, w hen the group rd provided these terms when the presenter s were referring them in their analysis report: discourse markers, negative transfer, and context clues. Moreover, there were a few time s when I responded to student questions for clarification. For example, as we were listening to the presenter explaining how their ESL student wa s not pronouncing the final sound in ing suffix, the following dialogue took place in the chat window: T: so would that be a problem with inflection too? Aylin: not a morphology problem, but it is phonology problem dropping g sound. Direct instruction a lso covers injecting knowledge from diverse sources which observations, field experience, using certain books and activities, and referencing some websites. Social p resence Social presence indicators were frequently observed in the transcript of the LEP Analysis meeting. Compared to previous meetings, this last meeting witnessed more social presence indicators. However, it could be just because this meeting was longe r than the previous meetings. To begin with, the personal/affective category had samples of expressing emotions, self disclosure, and using humor. To express emotions, happy face emoticon tool were used 11 times some of which included multiple users at a t ime. On two of these occasions, I also used the emoticon button. Emoticon symbols were also used 14 times (6 of which were used by the instructor) in the written
253 chat Other examples of emotive expressi ons included : This class was very interesting oh my As seen in some of the examples above, the text based chat data included f ive instances of repetitive punctuation of two instance s of whole word capitalization (LOVE and CONGRATS) ungrammatical or informal language style such a holy moly, yep, woop woop, that s, we r not the best of shape Another indicator of the personal/affective category s elf disclosure was also evident in the data. T he following samples exemplify self disclosure instances: When I was Italy I had an em I cannot tell you how difficult time I had with understanding basic sentence. sorry we r not n [ sic ] the best of I find this example very funny with me. I am from Puerto Rican culture The following dialogue also exemplifies self disclosure in addition to expressing emotion and supporti indicator of facilitating discourse category of teaching presence.
254 Tom (speaking): Ok! This is my first PowerPoint Believe it or not I paid $60 to a technician guy to help me with Powe rPoint I am a little bit nervous but we are going to get it shot today. K: holy moly S: nah, don't be nervous! Al : wow that great Aylin: no worries Humor was not common in this meeting either. Instances of humor were manifested through laughing (audio) two times by two students three times great picture and adding funny cartoons o n PowerPoint presentation s by two groups An example of using cartoons is given in Figure 14. The open communication category of social prese nce was manifested through complimenting, acknowledging, encouraging, agreeing, asking questions, and participating in discussions. There were a total of 64 compliments (11 of which by the which by the instructor), 15 questions posed by the students, and 12 agreements (4 of which by the instructor). The number of compliments was very high. This could be because there were more student presentations and also the meeting lasted longer than th e others. Because the meeting did not include discussion of topics or questions such as those for the Midterm Review and SLA theories meetings, there was not any incidence of disagreement. High participation rate for the majority of students and asking que stions to
255 comfortable to communicate. Examples of the open communication indicators are displayed in Table 21. Figure 1 4 S cree n shot of one of the gr using humor thro ugh cartoons related to the content. Table 21 Samples of Open Communication Indicators at LEP Analysis Presentation Meeting Complimenting sugges Acknowledging Asking questions to the instructor
256 teacher Asking questions to classmates e a problem with inflection Agreeing c too. it is a great way sic ] a great idea Aylin, manipulatives are , Group cohesion was manifested through the indicators of phatics inclusive pronouns, vocatives, salutations, closures, and greetings In addition, all students except for 2 worked as a group to do their projects. All members except for one group participated in oral presentation as well. Furthermore, group identity wa s emphasized three times by Tom when he encouraged and acknowledged his group members by were mostly used by me. For example, i n the beginning of the meeting I asked students how they were feeling I wished quick recover y to two students who said they were sick, told a student who had technical problems and at the end of the meeting I wished them good luck on their final exams and the rest of their academic
257 carrier, and congratulated those who would be graduating soon. Phatics samples used by commonly: 48 times (11of which was used by me). Vocatives were also used frequently exactly [Name]. it is a hard reality There were 8 salutation instances and 1 8 closure phrases Because the recording started after I finished uploading the documents and when most of the students were already onli ne, it missed initial salutations among students Nine out of 10 of messages before leaving. Only April left without any closure phrase. Furthermore, u se of greetings was generally not very common Because it was the end of the semester and winter break was about to Student responses included: same to you u too , es, everyone have a good winter b Cognitive presence. This case study project was the major assignment in this course. Students had to collect data from an English language learner to analyze the rrent classroom teaching methods and conducting an interview with the student, carrying out miscue reading, collecting writing samples observing the classroom and interview ing the teacher. In analyses of data collected, students practiced linguistic analysis (including phonology, morphology,
258 syntax, semantics, discourse, pragmatics, non verbal communication as well as literacy). In critique of current teaching methods and te chniques, they were required to apply various teaching methodologies studied in this course over the semester. Finally, a t this last live meeting, students shared their case study with the class. All of the students received passing grades (above 70%) on t heir projects. Actually, a few groups received full points. In terms of a discussion participation grade, except for two students, they all got full points as well. Throughout the meeting, g roups and the instructor interacted with each other, compared and contrasted the cases, and commented on each project Therefore, due to the objective of the meeting, there was not a linear progression among four stages of p ractica l i nquiry. The meeting aimed to observe the final phase resolution manifested through pr esenting the case study results The f irst three phases of practical inquiry probably took place among group member s over the semester when they were collaborating on the project as well as when they received feedback from me However, during the meeting, there were still instances of triggering event, exploration and integration phases when there were impromptu questi ons asked mostly by students and once by me. For instance, o ne of the group s reported that the classroom teacher they observed did not use an y ESOL strategies Several students commented on this observation via text based chat which created a new discussion topic on ESOL teacher education and led to exploration and integration among the participants : J (the presenter) is speaking: .."Unfortun ately the teacher is not doing much to help him." [After this sentence, the written chat comments focused on ESOL teacher education.]
259 El: its [sic] sad to see that a lot of teachers are not addressing some ELL issues Em: i [sic] agree completely [Name] C: [Name] i [sic] know, it is mostly lack of time Aylin: but still many things can be done Tom: They don't have the experience, at least the older ones who have no experience with ESOL Em: exactly C [Name]. it [sic] is a hard reality Aylin: lack of experie nce and training K: =(( Em: this is very true as well Aylin. Hence why ESOL is so important in preservice teacher training K: i [sic] like skits =) [The presenter is now describing teaching suggestions] Tom: I think politics and an ethnocentric attit ude is at fault! T: me too A: it is sad that a lot of teachers do not have the experience to teach esol students but at least John especially is self determined to ask and say what he needs Em: yea Tom, that is what made this pretty easy for us. John is ve ry self determined Tom: You almost have to be until we get some uniformity in regards to teacher training and the implementation of universal ESOL standards. Tom: funding, funding, and more funding! Tom: Until it becomes a priority, teachers will have to b e more creative and informed to help these ELL students!
260 The excerpt above exemplifies integration category through connecting ideas, synthesis and agreement. The dialogue also involves social presence group cohesion category as manifested in examples of using vocatives and collaborating with others and open communication in examples of feeling comfortable with interacting with others p articipating in class discussion referring to previous messages, and expressing agreement Another impromptu discuss ion occurred when one student asked a clarification question (triggering event) to the presenter and other 3 students also participated in this dialogue by agreeing, disagreeing, and brainstorming : Al: did you say that he has a disability i [ sic ] missed it B (speaking): No, he is not. It is not determined yet if it is speech issue or dental problem... J: ya i [ sic ] think so [N a me] Al: oh okay thanks J: why does he have an iep then? Al: yeah thats [ sic ] what I was thinking C: probably because of speech J: th en that would mean he had a speech disability. Al: right Em: yeah i [ sic ] was just thinking the same thing Al: speech impairment Other examples of triggering, exploration and integration indicators are shown in Table 22.
261 Table 22 Cognitive Presence Categories and Sample Indicators at the LEP Analysis Meeting Categories Indicator Samples Triggering did you say that he has a disability i [ sic ] missed it Exploration why does he have an iep then? Integration conversational repair and quantity maxim violation are common problems in each case being culturally responsive is necessary [ sic ] as a teacher of all students self correction indicates awareness of his mistakes which to me indicates progress free writing [ sic ] is a great way to get students willing to write by not limiting them you are truly assisting them in their writing abilities It seems that the th sound is very common for most esol students Resolution (All seven project presentations indicate resolution stage.) Summary of Elluminate Live Meetings In this section, I have explained how each of the five Elluminate Live class meetings were planned and conducted over the semester. Using the CoI framework, I
262 described how social, cognitive and teaching presence categories were manifested in these synchronous learning environmen ts The analyses showed that e ach of the meetings displayed rich indicators of all presences with some differences among them One of the reasons that could affect how a meeting differed from the other was the objectives and design of the meetings A teach er directed and introduction meeting such as the Course Orientation created more teaching presence than the social and cognitive. In addition, i nteraction between student(s) and me was much higher than the interaction between students. I was the only moder ator and used the microphone for most of the session to present course design, objectives, and assignments. However, at the other meetings when students become moderators to do their presentations (SLA Theories and LEP Analysis meetings) and take part in g roup activity and discussion of questions (Midterm Review meeting) both interaction between students increased significantly. Further, c ognitive presence was at peak when students had an active role to present and to di scuss questions as in the case of Midterm Review and SLA Theories meeting Results indicated that Elluminate Live provides an effective medium to create an active, student centered collaborative synchronous learning environment which promotes the communit y of inquiry Next, I will focus on how students perceived application of Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live tools in terms of CoI and satisfaction. To provide in depth analysis of a from the selected three participants: Tom, Kristina, and April.
263 Tom A t 43, Tom was the oldest and the only male student in the class. He is married with a six year old daughter. He described himself as white Anglo. His native language is English and he also knows a little Italian st semester of his Secondary English Education degree that he had worked for 9 years to earn The reason why it took so long to finish his degree was health issues Due to an acc ident he had o n the field while playing professional football, he went through several operations, complications and disability. Last year when he was expecting to be graduating in a week, he was told that he had to take 2 ESOL courses to finish. When he s tarted his program 9 years ago, there was not an ESOL endorsement requirement and when the state requirements changed, his advisor never informed him. I wanted to know if this made him have any negative attitudes toward our course, but on the contrary, I saw a very passiona te preservice ESOL teacher who wa s determined to do whatever it t ook to improve himself. He was just feeling stressed because unlike other students in the class, he had not taken any ESOL infused courses He wrote, ying catch up to a class full of students who are light years ahead of me in their preparation for such a concerned him was his poor technological skills as he describe d it in the survey 1. He hired a technician to set up his computer for our course. Basically, he needed to upgrade to Windows 2007 to be able to use PowerPoint, Blackboard and Elluminate Live and he also got his new webcam installed. Unfortunately, no mat ter how correctly he followed my instructions, he could not make the webcam work at any of our live meetings.
264 Towards the end of the semester, he hired this technician again to get help on creat ing a simple PowerPoint document to present his project live. I told him that I could have helped him if he asked, but he was so nice to say that he knew how busy I was, and he just did not want to take my time. Additionally he had not used either Elluminate Live or any IM tools before our course. Yet this did not prevent him from being an active participant at our whole class Elluminate Live meetings. Actually he was the most participatory student in all meetings. He supported his classmates with encouragements and greetings, and always provided insightful comment s and had interesting questions to discuss with the class. However, he was not an active user of Gmail Chat. Only at our second interview did I learn the reason for that. When he had the technician work on his computer, the person forwarded his official sc hool email account to his Outlook, so that he never needed to sign in to Gmail and also he did not need to use chat I was able to feel the unique personality of Tom over the semester. I felt his social presence more strongly than I had of other students I spent the most one on one time with him during our two interviews and two hour Gmail Chat session in the beginning of the semester because he always had more to say and ask when we ended the interviews Additionally, his self disclosure was more evident i n his discussions and assignments. He had a peculiar and amazing life story as a professional athlete on which an article was published in a recent magazine and TV shows and a movie are lined up on this story as he excitedly spoke about it. At our last E lluminate meeting, he talked about these ex c iting happenings: whirlwind He shared this article with us on our e Caf forum in his personal introduction. I feel that I can describe him as frie ndly, knowledgeable, respectful, understanding (whenever we
265 had technical problems or time schedule conflicts), helpful (always offered help if there was a need), and interested in foreign cultures as he lived in Italy for some time and at the end of our i nterviews, we always had long conversations on different topics including education, politics, travel, and culture. He asked questions about my educational and teaching background, and the education system in Turkey. As a passionate teacher, h e is also an advocate of ESOL ; this was clearly observable in his class discussion postings, assignments and in his comments at live meetings. For example, in survey 1 he reported t the LEP Analysis presentations, one group was presenting their observations of a classroom teacher who was not using teaching strategies f or ESOL students in the classroom. This created a lively discussion in the class and below are examples of Tom mes sages in this chat dialogue : determined) until we get some uniformity in regards The reason for Tom to tak e this course online was to work at his own pace (indicated in survey 1). Before this class, he had t aken only one online class which was his previous ESOL course. In the beginning of the semester, he had a positive attitude
266 towards the course content and the use of synchronous communication tools. He noted I think the content is very interesting, necessary, and crucial to impacting our ESOL students in their second language acquisition the use of synchronous communication in our class were positive. His responses to survey 1 questions related to his initial thoughts about the advantages and disadvantages of Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat were as follows: I am new to this application, but I can see the usefuln ess of such technology. As I use this new technology I should become more aware of its usefulness Convenience and accessibility Also, you get to hear and see other ideas, materials et c in your home. In groups members could virtually talk to a team memb er who shares similar hours (early morning, late night) For me it is the technology aspects of such a program. Younger students are more familiar with recent technology whereas some of us are constantly learning new and exci ting ways in which to effectively communicate. Tom valued cooperative learning. He views learning as a socially constructed activity. He was an active member of our learning community. A few times he enunciated his age and being the only male in the class brings some advantages to this community as well as affecting his sense of presence : Ob viously having differences in perspective and being the oldest member, I bring another perspective. So being the oldest and only male and I think I have more classroom experience than some of them as well I think I have a unique perspective to add to discussions. I tried to show some of that in practical terms. I would not consider myself an academic but I would consider myself someone
267 who is extremely capable of commu nicating with children in our classroom and I do it well. C hildren seem to respond to the way I choose to address them. I fee l I am able to i n discussion s to pass on some very practical things like all of the things you do in your internship, remember t o get comfortable shoes (Interview 1) To conclude, I believe Tom br ought valuable perspectives to this study as well by helping us understand the use of synchronous communication tools and building an online community of inquiry in this ESOL course throu gh his own words and voice What follow s perspectives based on his written reflections on the use of Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat, first and second interviews, and survey 2. f Gmail Chat, CoI, and Satisf action Tom was not a frequent use r of Gmail Chat because his emails were being forwarded to his private email account and he did not need to sign in Gmail page to use the chat tool. Over the semester, there were a total of 22 emails sent by Tom to me. The y were not only about the course content, assignments, seeking clarification, and so on, but As he reported in his fourth reflection, he used Gmail Chat 4 times over the semester, three of which were with his group members about class discussions, and one of which was with me. Our only chat session was initiated by him on September 18 th and lasted two hours including Elluminate Live use after Gmail Chat He was not com fortable with Elluminate Live and Gmail chat and wanted to test these tools with my guidance At first he was stressed, but at the end of our meeting seeing how easy things we re and
268 being successful he felt better. Below is the only text chat message he sent to initiate our chat: Good Day Professor Aylin, Tom is here. I would like to have/or set a video conference through Elluminate Live. Is this possible? I am a little scared, but I believe I can do it now that My IT guy installed Mozilla Firefox and gav e me a hyperlink to access B lackboard, a shortcut if you will. Are you available? After my response, we opened audio and video chat, but his camera for some reason did not work. We spent some time on Gmail chat t alking about how to add contacts and use vi deo or audio options. Then, as I was giving instructions to sign in Elluminate Live on Gmail Chat, we had the rest of our talk through Elluminate Live. He just needed to feel comfortable with the tool before using it for the first time for class meeting. O nce we finished technical issues, we talked about the course content, assignments, and finally we had some social conversation about our educational background s and the interesting article on his life story that he shared with the class s on Gmail Chat were always positive but not comprehensive due to his limited use of it. Based on his experience, he felt that Gmail Chat is an effective tool to enhance social presence in the community : it is an effective way to feel as if you are a part of the group. It gives you a soc social presence (Reflection 2) He also explained why he did not use it that often and how he felt about it: G mail Chat was O.K. For me personally, I did not use it that much beca use it was a case of learning too many firsts for me. Elluminate Live was a first for me.
269 A lot of the technology was new for me and this is why some of the technology was used more than others. It came down to time management and course load that prevente d me from engaging the technology more than I did. The instructor gave great support and facilitation of the technology and often espoused its virtues. The couple of times that I did engage the technology things went fine and there was a social presence fe eling when communicating with the professor or fellow students. I was satisfied with G mail Chat although I did not use it very often. Because Tom and I did not use Gmail Chat for direct instruction purposes Tom did not perceive it as effective for his learning : but I suppose it could be utilized i n a different manner to do so (Reflection 2). However, he could see this tool as an effective way of communication for preservice teachers to apply in their own teac hing: It is an excellent way in which pre service teachers may get to experience this particular software as a student and reflect on its effectiveness in your own classroom with your own students someday. This is the technology of the fu ture. Most people are a little scared of those types of changes, such as technology, because we are fearful of making mistakes or errors. Once you can conquer the learning curve of such technology I believe it will be a popular and much used application. (Reflection 1) He also had a suggestion for office hours. He said that although I was available to the students via Gmail Chat, some students would not try to use Gmail Chat even once, or
270 would not feel comfortable to contact me, but instead if I made it mandatory that eve ry student should meet me at least 2 or 3 times in a semester, they would be forced to learn the tool and feel motivated to interact with me, which would also allow for more one to one personal interactions (Interview 1). f Elluminate L ive CoI, and Satisfaction quite positive. Calling it a n awesome learning tool 2), h e was satisfied with all of the meetings. He stated 2). Although having limited technology skills and hardwar e and software issues, he never complained about mandatory live meetings On the contrary, he stated that t he best part of our course was Elluminate Live meetings: The Elluminate Live aspect of the class was the most beneficial for me in terms of learning, because I was looking for instant feedback and 2) My observation of Tom during the meetings support ed his reflections as he was always eager t o participate and do all necessary technology updates h is old computer needed even though it cost him some money In his own words, i he quickly settled down and became engaged wit h the lesson (Reflection 1). His concerns receded with experience over the semester a nd actually he began to enjoy it developed ideas of how it could be utilized in other settings and provid ed me with some suggestions For instance, at our Interview 1, h e expressed: had discovered it a couple of years ago. I can see the ability to utilize this in the classroom in many different kinds of settings. For kids who are sick and co uld not
271 come to school one day they can still participate in important part of the lecture. I see many good usages of Elluminate type technology and I am glad that I got to use it now. Perhaps it is something that one day would be implemented in public sch ools. We can conclude that Tom s experience with technology during the semester increased his technical aptitude and motivation. I n his first and last reflection papers as well as at the interview 1 he not only commented on academic advantages of attendi ng a live meeting, but also on personal advantages and the flexibility of online learning compared to attending a class session on campus: The obvious advantage is that my daughter knows that I am in the den working on the computer with my class. So, this is an advantage that I would not be afforded if I had to physically go to USF for class meetings. Wardrobe is not a concern trip to cam pus (Reflection home and making my presentation without trying to find parking at USF (Reflection 4) I like the ability that it gives me the flexibility to put my daughter down and fulfill my duties as a father and as a husband, and then at my convenience, I can sit down and go over the materials at 11pm at night when my wife and daughter are safely in bed, and the house is locked up. The convenience of being able to access the info at any time is a great help to especially nontraditional stu dents. I enjoy that aspect of flexibility, the ability to do things at your pace and at the time period that you feel you are the best learner. (Interview 1)
272 Tom expressed that synchronous class community of learning He m ade it clear that he felt a sense of community of inquiry in our course We all feel as if we are a part of a learning community. We are, painfully sometimes, aware that this is an active community that can i mmediately hear (see) one s (Refle ction 3) He perceived Elluminate Live as a facilitator of our community of inquiry Elluminate played a role in that it was the end product of the mini meetings or personal chats between instructor and student. So, in essence, Elluminate was the facilita He stated that these live sessions enhanced the social presence : (Interview 2) When engaged in the Elluminate session you have an awareness of your fel low classmates as well as the instructor. You are constantly aware of their social 3) He elaborated on the role of synchronous meeting s in creating a community of inquiry in his survey 2: Elluminate Live forced everyone to be there at the same time and you could see who was present and who was not logged in. You were part of an online community who had issues and questions on material just like you did, but were on the same team! Social Presence Tom wrote in his reflection papers an d also expressed during the interviews that he could feel the social presence of his classmates and the instructor: I perceived the classmates and the presence of the professor just as one does when sitting in the classroom. I know it is not as personal a nd intimate as being in class
273 as a group, but the process was the same and it does have a face to face real life feel to it You are all in it together and everyone has questions just like you do. At times you may make a mental question and then someone wil l ask a question that helps clarify the concept (Reflection 1) Everyone has a social presence and group mentality all in this thing together and we are members of a unique learning environ n you have an awareness of your fellow classmates as well as the instructor. You are constantly aware of their social presence. (Reflection 3) When probed about the developmental progress of social presence he sen sed over the semester for his classmates and the instructor, Tom answered that there was a positive change since the beginning of the semester and Elluminate contribute d to his perspectives great ly. A t the second interview a bout his sense of social presen ce of the instructor he stated: Before the course, I did not know you. My opinion of the instructor has changed in that it is a more positive opinion because throughout my education I have had good professors and not so good professors. You never know what type of professor you are going to get. Everybody is differ ent, different personalities. So I was worried with a class that has such challenging. I was worried what kind of professor I would have, and again good Lord was looking out for me, and gave me a professor that has personality you had. Because if the personality would
274 He also commented on the development of a relationship with some of his classmates specifically group members. He stated that he was able form distinct individual impressions of some group members through G mail Chat and Elluminate interactions : It was great being a part of team. Members of my team, at least in the conversations we had, they all treated me well. My feelings f or my fellow teammates have changed as well. I did not know them previously and I got to know them professionally through the class material, but also a little bit as individual s Several of them send me private emails congratulating me on Sports Illustrat ed and they wish me well. They knew it was exciting and I appreciated that. (Interview 2 ) To build and sustain social presence, Tom believed in the importance of interaction. He felt a stronger sense of social presence with the students with whom he inter acted most: he ones you communicated the most with were the ones you formed a favorable opinion of. You definitely had a feeling of their social presence 2) He also wished his group members were more available and motivated for group interacti 1). S ocial presence arises through being able to project oneself socially and emotionally, as a real person through the medium of communication be ing used ( Garrison, Anderson, & Archer, 2000 ) I t is evident that Tom successfully projected his social presence and in fact he did it on purpose to diffuse coldness and create a group
275 cohesion and sense of community with the members he had not known befor e He valued the role of Elluminate Live meetings which mediated the sense of community of inquiry: [classmates] without Elluminate. Look how often we met outside Elluminate! Like I said earlier some teams met more than others. I think also when I picked a group on, there were some groups that had young ladies taking classes together previously so it seems like they are buddies they always take classes with S o they feel more comfortable being on the same team and t herefore they communicate more because they know each other. I found out that the groups that did not meet as much would probably be thrown together or put together and they did not know each other so there was this coldness and indifference to overcome s o you get to know each other. That is a part of why I tried to put some personal I tried not to make it all academic ; tried to put personal in so that I could let my personality come out so that it was not just all about phonics or just the material. I tied to infuse a little bit personality within the presentation of the material to try to get to know my classmates. (Interview 2) Personal/affective expression which covers self disclosure use of emoticons, humor, and expressing emotions, was projected by Tom. In fact he was the person w ho used humor and self disclosure more than any other student Open communication indicators such as feeling comfortable to interact with classmates and the instructor, participating in discussions, complementing, showin g agreement or disagreement, and asking questions were used and expressed by him. His high participation gave support to this. During our first interview (in the middle of the semester) he said he was feel ing
276 valued and appreciated by his group members H e mentioned his receiving compliments on his group summary from the group members. Finally, g roup cohesion includes the indicators that serve a purely social function such as phatics, salutations, inclusive pronouns, and addressing participants by name. Tom showed all these types of indicators through his interactions with the class members and the instructor at the live meetings as well as in his written reflections, survey responses and at our interviews Some samples of his utterances that highlight so cial presence are given in Table 16. Table 23 Samples of Social Presence Indicators Used by Tom at Elluminate Live M eetings Categories In dicators Examples Personal/Affective Expression Self disclosure H umor Emoticon Self Pro jection /Expressing Emotions Forming distinct am sick but I am a mess so I am glad me in this forum as I have a fever and I am swea
277 impressions of some peers Open Communication Learning Climate/ Risk Free Expression Feeling comfortable conversing thr ough CMC Feeling comfortable interacting with other course participants and the instructor Asking questions Referring explicitly to other messages Expressing Agreement Complimenting is an effective means of class discussions and expressing my that one too! audio hea ring, lingual Group C ohesion Salutation Inclusive pronouns Sense of belonging ladies... I really feel as if
278 Vocatives Good job [ Teaching Presence teaching presence was very positive He felt a strong sense of teaching presence and he found my style of teaching effect ive and my personality and rapport with students Patient, understanding, available, kind, compassionate, supportive, encouraging thoughtful and cognizant were some of the adjectives he use d in his statements addressing my teach ing presence a nd personality I felt that for him a wa s a critical factor: G ood Lord was looking out for me, and gave me a professor that has personality you had I think that the other students were appreciative of it too. You could tell that from their comments that they were appreciative of your personality. You know as well as I do. You have taken more classes than I have. You know that the instructor can make or break a class. (Interview 2) He positively commented on learning materials, tasks, course organization, class atmosphere, teacher availability and support. He especially appreciated emotional support he felt and expressed this a few times. As I explained in his introduction, he was feeling that he did not have necessary background knowl edge in ESOL and technology skills as his classmates, but I assured him he did I expressed how I found his synchronous and asynchronous class participation insightful and professional His confidence increased by the mid semester as he himself witnessed r eceiving compliments from his group members as well as good grades on the assignments and midterm exa m The following
279 excerpt elucidates his appreciation of my availability, personality, a nd indicates he developed a sense of friendship and trust : She was a lways available for me and I greatly appreciate her kindness and compassion This was an unexpected extremely difficult semester for me She made it less stressful by just acknowledging that it can be stressful, but just relax and take one thing at a time Thanks professor Aylin. If you need me for anything please feel free to send an e mail and I will be there for you. You have certainly been there for me this semester! I appreciate your time as always. In addition, h e enunciated t hat we had a welcoming a nd risk free learning environment : Your sense of purpose was admirable. I have had other professors or grad students who have taught classes that I was in that did not foster the calm and supportive atmosphere that you were able to create. You often made t he comment, "no pressure, just relax" and this was an astute move on your part to try and take some pressure off of a student .. You were thoughtful and cognizant that life happens and technology sometimes fails. (Survey 2) His comments on my role as a f acilitator of discourse were positive throughout the semester. He also alway s valued the immed iate and positive feedback: Professor Aylin did a great job as facilitator and teacher You always managed to say something good about the student work or presenta tion. I like this positive feedback and encouragement and I feel that this attitude goes a long way in building rapport with your students. (Survey 2)
280 Students had the opportunity to receive live direct instruction through the medium of Elluminate Live. T om was appreciative of receiving direct instruction : The instructor's direct teaching was another voice or way of presenting the material. She was supportive and quick with encouragement and that is a style that I, too, enjoy (Survey 2) He reported that he learned how to differentiate voiced and voiceless consonants from my demonstration using the webcam voiceless anymore because I just put my fingers on my throat and I would be saying these rview 1). Cognitive Presence socio constructivist approach. He values collaborative learning therefore, he always emphasized how Elluminate allowed us to create knowledge collaboratively and how he enjoyed in teractive activities For instance, i n reflection 1 paper, he stated that he perceived Elluminate Live as a beneficial tool to facilitate his learning experience : You read the material once by yourself and then you get to see the professor expound upon so me idea or piece of the material that perhaps puzzled you when you were reading the material by yourself I thought the PowerPoint questions were an effective discourse on the r elated material. (Reflection 3) Furthermore, he said that without Elluminate Live meetings, his learning would not be as interesting as it has been and added that you have the ability to hear instantaneous feedback of what your fellow classmates are th inking If you did not have
281 the elluminate in this class, there is no way you could feel and participate in that kind of feature (Interview 1). Receiving immediate feedback and diverse perspectives are most common ly stated benefits of synchronous meetings in his data He found multiple modalit ies of communication effective as he benefited from the chat tool during audio presentations. In addition, he d id not exclude social presence from cognitive presence as he noted: I have a perceived sense of community w hile logged in to Elluminate Live. You got instant feedback with suggestions and critiques. The ability to make comments in the little text box during a slide presentation or PowerPoint was a good tool for those who like to comment on the issues as they ar ise. You get some really good ideas there. It was a learning community and we were all in the proverbial same boat. (Interview 2) Prov iding him a sense of community, Elluminate Live gave Tom a chance to understand that he was not the only student who was c hallenged with the content and had questions to ask. He benefited from when other students requested help and received immediate support and clarification : It was interesting to note what type of problems others had with certain parts of the lesson. There was times when I felt unsure or a little confused with the material that others raised their hands or used the frown icon to assert their feelings The ability to ask in real time a question when the need arises is great because you receive immediate feedba ck to your concern. ( R eflection 1)
282 noticeable As previously noted, he said he wished he had taken this course prior to his internship. His ultimate aim and motivation in taking this course was to become a better E SOL instructor and therefore, he did his best to achieve it He expressed his satisfaction in Survey 2 : I am satisfied. My goals were to learn some new and innovative strategies that I could implement in my classroom that would ease the difficulty of sec ond language acquisition for my ESOL students. Elluminate Live was a portal to new and exciting voices who have wonderful thoughts and ideas on how best to teach linguistics and literacy to our ELL learners. The course assignment such as the LEP project wa s an all inclusive way of implementing the new knowledge learned in a real world setting. The interaction among group members and fellow classmates made me feel as if we were part of an exclusive learning community. In this excerpt, Tom again brought up th e role of social presence, that is, his sense of community and interactions with class members in his learning The LEP Analysis project was the major assignment of the course and involved data collection, analysis and application of all the course content Tom was always active in both live and asynchronous class discussions. He went beyond what was asked for class participation discussion board. I try to stimulate di 1). He asserted that Elluminate Live meetings made learning authentic and meaning ful for him. When I asked what he meant by authentic, h is explanation was as follows:
283 to present the information in a unique way b ecause we all have different personalities. Everybody learns differently. Sometimes we get our education blinders on. We are accustomed to seeing things in certain way based on our life experience. When I say au thentic, it was an and how they would deal with a particular learning disability. Sometimes you are sitting and making notes like I did, and you going like I am going to try this I make a little note if I get this particular problem and it is nice to have likeminded people that have different perspectives. (Interview 2) He expressed that h e valued learning from other students being able to receive different perspectives and watchi ng and listening to instructor and student presentations Elluminate Live made it possible for him to interact whenever he need ed during live presentations. This was a unique learning experience in that it was not like asynchronous text based interaction s which lack immediacy and voice. In addition, his reflection on the phonology and morphology meeting revealed that because he found the phonology section difficult as did other students, he benefited from direct instruction. He commented on the use of the webcam when I demonstrated certain phonemes and how to differentiate voiced and voiceless consonants : When I was trying to figure out voiced versus voiceless, and you made the comment of put your finger on your throat, I did not have a problem with voiced versus voiceless anymore because I just put my fingers on my throat and I would be saying these consonants and seeing that if they are vocalized. (Interview 1 )
284 Tom brought a unique perspective to the study by being the oldes t student, having very limited technical skills, and displaying a very strong social presence. He always expressed high satisfaction with the course and the instructor. He appreciated learning about Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat as well as their pedagogic al use for our course objectives. He was not able to use Gmail Chat often because his emails were forwarded to his Outlook and he had to learn several things at one time, however, he predicted that it would be a very effective tool to enhance instant commu nication and social presence, and if used for content teaching, it could enhance cognitive presence too. Tom found Elluminate Live very efficacious for augmenting all elements of CoI. He felt comfortable communicat ing with others and, offering self discl os ure. He also felt like a valued community member, which helped him to feel the social presence of the other students and the instructor. He also rated my teaching and use of synchronous communication tools effective and our class activities on Elluminate Live as worthwhile. He believed live meetings were the most beneficial to him to learn course content and feel as if he were in a real classroom. will continue with our second p articipant, Kristina. Kristina Majoring in Secondary English Education Kristina was a 24 year old stay at home mother of a baby daughter and was home schooling two other children to make
285 money Being a full time student, home schooling and taking care of her baby take up all her time. She was enrolled in a few face to face classes with some of her classmates, but as she reported she only knew their names and did not have any friendship s One of these students formed a group and invite d her to she join them. Although she could have worked individually in this course, she chose to work as a group due to the amount of work involved. As a student, I can describe her as high achiever, organized, but introvert ed At our interviews and in her reflections, she frequently emphasized her learning style being individual rather than a I am very introverted . Moreover, she preferred reading to lis tening. She also articulated a few times that she did not like to talk much in classroom settings, which I often noticed at the live meetings. In terms of technical skills, she said she was not an expert but did not have any concerns either (Survey 1). She did not have previous experience with any synchronous It gives the next best thing to face to 1), but she was not content with the meetings due to her sched ule. In addition, s he acknowledged that she often used instant messenger tools to interact with her family and friends. However, for both Gmail chat asked in Survey 1. She preferred face to face learning to online learning. She would have taken our course face to face if she had had a flexible schedule. She had taken only one online course previously which probably affected her expectations for this course a nd overall
286 online education perceptions. Her previous course was not designed with social constructivist approach. She did not interact with any other students and hardly with the teacher. She finished the whole course in two weeks because the course only involved readings and self evaluation quizzes which were not scheduled. She took our course online hoping to finish everything ahead of time and have more time for her other courses. Two excerpts below describe her expectations from an online course: Most people who take online courses do it because their schedule does not allow for them to take classes at regular times during the week. I was frustrated with mandated meetings and group work because my schedule was not very conducive towards that. I was expe cting to be able to complete work on my schedule and ahead of time so that I actually finished the course ahead of time because I have such a busy schedule (Survey 2) When I asked her to elaborate on this statement, she expressed: If you already had the E lluminate session recordings available and things like that I could watch them and get the work done If I did not have to deal with the actual weekly things due, so much group work every week... And that is what I meant by not being able to do it ahead of time. Because when I signed up for an online that bad thing. It is just me personally. It is just my expectation of an online course. That was not what I was thinking. (Sec ond Interview) CoI, and Satisfaction Kristina and I had one chat session over the semester. Similar to Tom, Kristina was not a frequent user of Gmail Chat. However, she did not have any technical concerns
287 like Tom did I rather send an email than chat clarified that this was also because of my quick response to emails: When I send you email, I get a pretty quick response. That is better. Some of my teachers I send an email and I might get a response a week later. In that aspect you are really available I have not had any issues. I have not needed to talk to you so I just asked my questions i (First Interview) In her reflection 1, she expanded on her reasons by writing that she was occupied with her daughter and she could only study at odd times: I am a stay at home mom and I home school two childr en so my days are pretty full. I do not really have the time to use gmail. Especially during the times other people are available. I work on my work at odd times, trying to fit it in during my s I do not have the other kids with me. Similar to our first interview dialogue, she repeated herself in her last reflection, but this time, she added a concern, not knowing how to save chat conversations in case she needed them although our course documen ts noted the auto recording of written chat conversations: it. Yes the instructor was available if I needed but I still felt the email was sufficient enough because her res ponses were just as prompt as if I was on a chat
288 and I then was able to save her response if I needed to, something I have no clue how to do on a chat. (Reflection 4) I also think that her lack of motivation to use chat was partially due to her personality as well. She often told me that she was introvert and did not like to talk much, and when compar ing audio and written communication, she said she preferred text since she felt more comfortable to express herself that way. She and her group mostly used em ail as well. She commented on using email 2). I n her last reflection, she elaborated on it: Our group communicated mainly through Gmail. According to my mailbox I received about 94 messages from my group members and sent close to 40 of my own messages to them. We talked mostly about our project and group discussions for the sections due that week. We would post on the group page but we still did most of our communication through Gmail because it was more convenient for most of us. I know that we are able to check our mail from our phones while we are out and do responses that way. Kristina and I used Gmail Chat at 8:31pm on November 6 th We only used text based chat that lasted 2 minutes. Upon receiving my reminder email to the whole class, she contacted me to request an extension on an assignment submission. Social presence indicators were employed in our chat. Her statements included a happy face emoticon, self disclosure and pe rsonal details of where she was and how she would travel, which contributed to personal/affective category of social presence. In addition, her request,
289 questions, and appreciation of the extra time were indicators of open communication. Finally, although she did not use a salutation, she ended the conversation with a greeting and this was an indicator of group cohesion category of social presence. The whole chat conversation was as follows: 8:31 pm. Kristina : I just got your email about the Lesson Plan 2. I am out of town at my parents and forgot that it was due tonight. I have it done but it is on my computer at home. Can I turn it in tomorrow by 1pm? I will be leaving Ocala by 10am and if there is no traffic issues should be home by then. It is a 2 hr dri ve but I have to make stops because I have my daughter with me. I think I can get the lesson plan from the email I sent you with it but I rather not have to do the assignment twice if at all possible and it will be rushed and not the same as the first beca use there is no way I am going to remember exactly what I did originally. 8:32 pm. Aylin : Ok, Kristina. Kristina : Thank you so much. I just really didn't want to do it twice :) 8:33 pm. Aylin : I understand. Kristina : Will I be able to post it to BB or shou ld I email it to you? 8:34 pm. Aylin : yes, you will be able to upload. In case there is a problem, you can always email Kristina : Thank you. Enjoy your weekend. Aylin: you too :)
290 I addressed her with her first name and responded to her closure greeting, w hich indicate group cohesion. Like her, I also used happy face emoticon once. Moreover, there were indicators of teaching presence. The d esign and organization category was observed when I was helping her with when and how to submit the assignment. Yet, c ognitive presence was not observed in this interaction. Regarding her satisfaction, she responded that she was very satisfied with the tool, but she was not available to use it. Besides, she did not expect to perform synchronous communication in an online course. affects the CoI in our class was limited. Kristina did not want to be a part of an online e about the 2). As previously discussed, her online learning perception, expectations, and attitude towards group work were probably contributing factors for how she felt and thought about our course. Being o ccupied with a baby daughter and her other courses, she just wished to finish the course in a shorter time using synchronous tools was not conducive to what my expectations for an online class w 2). However, s he reported that she felt a sense of social presence of the instructor and class mates, especially of her group members: I feel like I am able to put my opinion out there in my discussion topics. Others do read it and they respon d. I really like that, because you see that you are not just posting to post but other people read it. It is nice.
291 She agreed that Gmail helped her get to know the instructor and group members better, but she considered the email conversations rather than the only two chat sessions she had 2). Apart from synchronous communications, she thought self introduction s, emails, instructor feedback, and group projects helped her feel a sense of learning community: e Caf forum was a nice way to introduce us to each other and see photos of each other, personal emails were helpful in keeping up to date with each other pr ompt feedback, group projects let us interact more with classmates. (Survey 2) In terms of cognitive presence, she could not comment on the role of instant messaging because she did not have any experience. Our chat session did not involve content discussi on and she did not use chat to discuss content with her group members Likewise, considering teaching presence, although she valued my being available, supportive, and prompt in responding her, she could not comment on its role for direct instruction and facilitation of discourse. CoI, and Satisfaction Kristina expressed that she was satisfied with the Elluminate Live meetings and felt that they contributed to the community of inquiry in the class. However, she still would prefer not to have them because of her busy schedule and her learning style which was based on reading and individual work. She appreciated being able to interact with the instructor and classmate Students were able to interact with each other and the teacher and get immediate feedback on questions and group
292 2). Yet she was upset to sacrifice the time she could have sp ent with her husband and bab y. After her first experience with Elluminate Live at our Orientation meeting, she noted in her Survey It gives the next best thing to face to and Morphology me eting reflection paper, she enunciated that the meeting time was not good for her. She was tired during the meeting since she usually went to bed at 8p.m. and that t he meetings are on Friday nights because those are my relaxing nights I get to spend 1). Kristina acknowledged that she was feeling a sense of community of inquiry by the middle of the semester. At our first interview, she indi cated that she was feeling more connection with her group members compared to other students since she was interacting more often with her group. In her reflections, she observed that other students were having social interaction with each other using the chat tool at Elluminate Live while I they already got their little clicks which I would think hard to do online but apparently no and community building, she gave a similar response. From her responses, I felt that she perceived community of learning as more like getting to know classmates and having social interaction with them, which she had no intention to do in an online course. By mid semester, from her response below, it was clear she was not still feeling comfortable communicat ing with class me mbers at the meetings:
293 I feel it adds some to community aspect but I see it more as a way of review of people. I just want to see what you are doing. It is a good review. That is my point I would rather be that because it will go quicker than trying to communicate them But other people who are comfortable with online settings, I think they probably would feel different without Elluminate and they would want that, but I 1) Social Presence Kristina often emphasized how she did not have any intention to get to know her classmat es and build any kind of friendship with them in any course she takes because I participated in the required meetings and postings to bb [Blackboard] but I did not have a desire to get to kno w anyone personally to connect with them (Survey 2). We discussed how we should take the term, friendship as classmate ship and how it meant knowing and feeling connected to other community members and feeling comfortable to interact with them for the pur pose of enhancing learning. For her, an online learning community is not necessary to build in a course. Her preferred learning style is individualistic and her expectation from an online course is to learn wherever and whenever she wants. However, being e xposed to a different online learning experience in our course, there were certain things she enjoyed and found effective. Doing group assignments and participating in class discussions was rewarding for her because it was not only the instructor who would read and comment on. Especially for discussion forums, she felt
294 she could express her opinions freely and her point of view was acknowledged by out there in my discussion topics. Others do read it and they respond. I really like that, (Interview 1). Kristina felt social presence of her group much stronger than of the class. Referri ng to the breakout room activity in phonology and morphology meeting, she (Reflcetion 2). Moreover, receiving discussion questions an hour before the meeting was beneficial for her since her group had time to go over the questions. Such group activities enabled Kristina to build a bond with them: I did feel togetherness with my group which is an improvement from the last meetin g. I have had time to work with my group and I also had time beforehand to work on the questions so I was able to be more involved in discussion rather tha n just eating up time trying to figure out what the answers were. Over the semester, Kristina and her group conducted one Elluminate meeting. She e njoyed having real time audio group communication rather than emailing back and forth or waiting for a reply on discussion forum. She commented on this experience quite positively: I enjoyed the Elluminate just for ourselves because I had to go to the inte rview and it was good to hear what they all wanted me to find out. It was really great. I
295 wish our schedules worked better, so that we can actually do more of them We have one member with 3 jobs and it is hard to get schedules work. In her final evaluati on of social presence and live meetings, she was content that Elluminate Live enabled her to hear her classmates, but again by comparing online course to face to face courses, she highlighted that it would never be the same as the social presence in a face to to face classroom but hearing my other classmates was a great help in letting me know them 4). Lack of body language and mimics in online communication was a challenge for her to feel comfortable to interact. In her early reflections, she brought up this issue twice both for cognitive and social presence: I know that in a regular classroom I take clues from my classmates; if they look just as lost as I am then I will gla dly raise my hand and ask questions. But in this setting I rather send an email to you individually or just figure it out on my own. (Reflection 1) would be helpful, bu 1). In her reflection 3, she noted how the use of webcams during our first interview did because we meeting when she presented the LEP Analysis project with her group, she did not use her ight that early in the morning ).
296 By the end of the semester, Kristina was feeling much more comfortable in interact ing with me and other students. At our second interview, she stated that Elluminate Live was effective in changing her perspectives of the instructor and studen ts. Watching other student s 3). She noted that each meeting time you spend 3). When queried about what other factors helped her feel a sense of community in the course, Kristina mentioned e Caf introductions with photos, frequent emails, instant feedback, and grou p projects (Reflection 3). Unlike Tom, Kristina did not strongly project her social presence at Elluminate Live class meetings. Her participation was minimal. Since breakout rooms are not observable, I was not able to witness her participation with her gr oup, but she stated that she felt more comfortable interacting with her group members and enjoyed the breakout room activities. Her highest participation rate with 17 text messages was observed during the Phonology and Morphology meeting. At other meetings she only had 2 or 3 messages. First, p ersonal/affective expression was hardly exhibited by Kristina. She did not use humor and self disclosure. She used happy face emoticon once at the Midterm Review meeting. Second, open communication indicators were no t common either. She articulated that she was an introvert ed person and did not talk much ev en in face to face classrooms. Yet, she reflected that she felt comfortable interact ing with her group members and with me when she needed. She offered help to a cl assmate who did not
297 [ sic ] Meeting). Third, group cohesion indicators included use of informal languag meeting all of you. She also expressed that she was feeling being valued and appreciated by her group members in the reflection papers, surveys and at the interviews. Teaching presence Kristina reflected a positive perception of my teaching presence. In evaluating the all my goals were met. I wanted to grow in con 2). Regarding the design and organization category of teaching presence, although the course design was not what she expected for, she found the course very organized and the course materials very effective. She appreciate d how we used discussion forums which le t students interact with each other. She knew other students would read and comment on her posts. E caf forum created a welcoming atmosphere in the course. In terms of using collaborative group work, she stated that she would not prefer to work with a group, but she decided to do so due the LEP Analysis project. Overall, she was very satisfied with the course by the end of the semester. Regarding my teaching style and availability, she enunciated: s very supportive and understanding She was always available and prompt in her 4).
298 Pertaining to Elluminate Live meetings and my direct teaching, she rated direct njoye d the live meetings 2). In addition, she found breakout room activities very effective in terms of immediate te in real time with my group. (Reflection 2). In addition, she emphasized that arranging breakout rooms for the groups to work collaboratively for the midterm review was effe ctive. Likewise, she commented on how we planned SLA theories section and held a live meeting for groups to present the the ories they were assigned with: I feel that because this section was so dense in information that it was good to have each group do 3). However, because of her approach to teaching which will be discussed in the following section, she critiqued designing group presentation s for course content delivery. Cognitive Presence e live meetings in terms of learning included both negative and positive aspects. She was not content with live meetings because she was not expecting any kind of interactivity from an online course. In addition, she had a problem with the meeting times du e to taking care of her baby sacrificing the time that would be spent with her husband. Last but not least, she pronounced that she did not need interaction with others and she would be fine with just watching previously recorded presentations:
299 I learn stu care if other students are there. Just you reviewing it for me I would be fine with understand i t. (Interview 1) On the contrary, she also wrote in her reflection 1 how interacting with others was beneficial: I like that we get to interact with each other and hear questions from other classmate s that may help us even if we did not think of the questi on on our own. I also think it helps as a review because there are examples and we can ask for clarification on things if we need it. (Reflection 1) Similarly, she judged the breakout room activities very effective in terms of immediacy of interaction. Ye t, she complained that during whole class activities at the Phonology and Morphology meeting, there were students who jumped to answer questions fast, which did not give her enough time to respond: I think Elluminate is good when we were doing group work b ecause we were able to discuss back and forth...We talk through email but it is still late. It is real time so it is very helpful in doing group work. When it was the whole class, I feel like there are some people who know the material better so they jump in there before anyone else can give an answer and that was kind of frustrating. I think it is a great communication tool. (Interview 1)
300 She also assured that she benefitted from the meetings, learned new ideas, and clarified any issues she had. Regarding the LEP Analysis meeting and receiving different perspectives and ideas from other student groups, she offered meeting because everyone did so many different students Because I am in secondary education, I was not even thinking that anyone would do elementary student so it was 2). Therefore, she always had mixed feelings and thoughts. During our second interview, I got more chance to learn about her learning philosophy and teach ing style. After our SLA Theories meeting, when groups presented their theories and interacted with the class through questions and comments, Kristina wrote in her reflection: the best idea becaus e they are bound to miss something that the teacher would want to group w ork and student presentations. students miss a lot and when the teache inquired if my teaching presence, clarifying, giving samples, covering what was missing, and summarizing key points at the end of each presentation was not satisfactory to overcome such possible obstacle. Her response was as follows: I think it was enough from what they were doing. But then from my view, watching it and listening, I had to keep together what they said and also the stuff you were adding. It is not cohesive, because it is not in an order I am used to, which also goes along with reading because if it is reading I know that it is in order. If I am listening to, I have to put it in an order to make sense 2)
301 Then, I asked her if she plans to use student presen tations when she becomes a teacher, Yes. I t is just difficult for me to adjust to that, but yes. I am going to have In reference to LEP Analysis meeting, her comment on cognitive presence was as follows: I am very introvert ed I like to do things on my own. It is just how I am. It is not a reflection on Elluminate itself; it is just how my personal preference deals with the Elluminate. It is hard for me to say that I could have learned the material without Elluminate meeting s because I did not actually have the material with me to try and learn it. So it is hard to say if I would have been able to or not. (Interview 2) There were a few unique advantages she felt Elluminate Live provided. She thought without Elluminate Live, LEP Analysis presentations done asynchronously on students would read the whole documents and comments and feedback would not be in real time. This was how she wrote in h er last reflection paper: Elluminate is a way for the class to meet as a whole and it helps give groups immediate feedback and helps them appreciate their own work because they get to share what all their work accomplished. (Reflection 4) She expressed tha t she learned more from collaborating with her group on the LEP Analysis project than listening to other groups and creative ideas were gained from listening to other groups presentations, but for the
302 most part I feel (Reflection 4). s the next best thing to face to Kristina was satisfied with the course and had positive perspectives on synchronous communications but as she said, she was just not expecting these tools to be used in our course. Having a busy schedule, she sometimes had conflicts with meeting times In addition, in her daily life she does not use instant messaging tools an d therefore, she was not online on Gmail Chat. Based on her two experiences with Gmail Chat, she found it effective for the instructor s availability and creating social presence. teaching style preferences had some effect on how she perceived our course. Being an introvert ed person, she did not take an active role during class meetings. She needed some time to feel comfortable enough to interact with other students. Kristina often emphasized that she was not expecting to have any synchronous communications from an online course. Moreover, b efore the semester started, she was not expecting to get to know other students, build social presence, learn collaboratively, and in short be a member of a community of inquiry in this course Her learning preference heavily depends on reading and working alone which directly influence her teaching style Yet, she admitted that she would work hard to change her teaching style from teacher orient ed to more student oriented and let students do work collaboratively and do presentations.
303 overall perspective of Elluminate Live meetings and their role in the community of inquiry was positive. She needed some adjustment time to feel comfort able with synchronous meetings to present her social presence and participate freely in discussions. Nonetheless, she never became an active participant in class meetings, but as she said she was more participatory in break out group activity. Regarding co gnitive presence, she benefited from live group discussions as she was able to solve exercises collaboratively with her group members. She believed that live sessions helped her clarify any questions she had, learned new teaching ideas and different studen t cases from her classmates. April April was a 21 year was Secondary English Education and she aspired to b ecome an ESOL specialist. She was a hardworking student and through our interviews I got to know her as friendly and talkative. She had taken 5 online courses previously and was enrolled in 3 online courses in the semester, which made her the most experi enced online learner in the class. She preferred online course to face to face courses because she believed she was able to learn more from an online course. She expressed: When you go to a class like F2F it is more just a lecture. You sit there and teache r talking and you are taking notes. It is actually my experience. I have not taken that many F2F classes that were interactive. And with an online course I
304 prefer them better because I take them at my own pace, at comfort of my own home. Usually in the en d I like my online classes a lot more than my F2F classes. So I think I have a little biased view. As far as how much I learn, I learn more from my online classes than my F2F classes because it kind of like showing up and pretending to pay attention. (Inte rview 1) 1). She rated her technical skills and online learning skills as very good. Although she was very familiar with instant messaging (for online games), she had not used Elluminate Live or a similar SWBCS before. Her previous online courses did not utilize synchronous communication, yet in one of the courses, they had one class meeting via a text based chat tool. In th e beginning of the semester, she was quite positive about the use of Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live and she did not have any concerns related to these tools (Survey 1). Her initial comments on Elluminate Live were as follows: I have taken many online and d istance learning courses in my college career. This course is the first to attempt to implement online class sessions. The only thing close to this genuine communicative interaction I have had before was the whole class being in a chat room... For a distanc e learning course this has been the most effective tool I have seen used yet. Online courses rarely provide the chance to interact with the professor, let alone all your peers, in a normal classroom like This is a very effective tool for distance learning and I hope the future brings better and newer programs like such. (Reflection 1)
305 S he had not previously enroll ed in any face to face course with any of the students in our course nor did she kn o w any of her classmates, but she said she 1 course. Thus, she contacted Tom to form a group and then they joined with another pair. She expressed that she preferred group work and her ideal online course description inc luded effective group communication and collaboration: If we have group work, obviously one thing would be students communicate with one another. Another ideal thing would be a teacher who is always available. Because a lot of times, as I take online class respond. It is like a week later if you have a question for an assignment due. Also, there would be a lot of communication and collaboration. People work together easily. Assignments are explained. Maybe model assignment s are online, like samples. The teacher is like free for questions to clarify any miscommunication or misunderstanding. (Interview 1) CoI, and Satisfaction April used instant messaging tools for online game purposes in h er social life. She also had one class meeting on chat in a previous online course. In our course, she found 4). She stated that she always f elt comfortable initiating 1). At our first interview, when I inquired if her group was using Gmail Chat to collaborate on assignments, she highlighted that they had not used it yet due to conflicting schedules:
306 Everyone is doing their own thing and that is like a problem with our group. Once a person wants to meet a student, but nobody is available, the person gets mad because they have to do the work by themselves. As far as a common time we are all free, we have not been able to come to an agreement on, so I think that is one answer, you can email them. (Interview 1) April emailed me 8 times during the semeste r. Although I often noticed April online on Gmail chat, we only had one chat conversation over the semester which was initiated by me to respond her question sent via email. In the beginning of the semester, she did not know much about Gmail Chat program as she said: really know how it works though. My USF email is Gmail account and all that fun kn 1) Therefore, I explained what she needed to do and she followed my directions as we spoke. It turned out that she had not clicked on the button to display her contacts, which was why she was not able to see who was online or offline when she logged in. At our members to discuss their group work.
307 Apri l sent me an email on November 19 th midnight. She was concerned that her group members did not collaborate with her on the SLA Theories presentation and on the last lesson plan modification assignment as much as they were supposed to. Therefore, she decide d to work on the lesson plan alone and requested some extra time. I read th Because she was online when I read the email, I used the chat tool to reply her questions. Our chat conversation was as follows: 8:07a.m. Aylin: Good morning, April. I read your email. You just need to inform your friends about this. I mean you should let me know who did what and I will grade accordingly (individual grades for each person). You can have more time to work on your lesson plan if you need. You will also grade your group members out of 50 points at the end of sec 7. 8:09 a.m. Hope that makes you feel better. 8:12 a.m. April: Good morning I just finished the slides and uploaded it to the class discussion board Aylin: very good. April: I feel bad about turning it in late but I had very little help with this 8:13 a.m. Aylin: I understand. 8:14 a.m. April : I guess I will be moderating the whole thing, since I made it and nobody else will really know what to say. Well thank you for your und erstanding I am going to start working on the lesson plan now. 8:15 a.m. Aylin: Ok. 8:16 a.m. You may have extra day or two if you need. Don't stress.
308 April: ok thank you :) see you tonight Aylin: see you :) The analysis of this conversation according to t he CoI elements revealed that there were social presence and teaching presence indicators. Regarding the personal/affective expression category of the social presence, both April and I used happy face emoticon once. A s elf disclosure indicator could be obs erved in her statement of feeling bad about turning the assignment late. In terms of open communication category, it could be inferred that she was feeling comfortable to interact with me. Her written and verbal explanations on how comfortable she felt to contact me and her classmates supported this inference as well. In addition, use of greetings and closures as well as my addressing her with her first name contributed to the group cohesion category. Teaching presence patterns were mostly related to facili tation of discourse because she was disappointed in her group and was stressed about missing the deadline. I tried to make her feel better and continue working hard. Moreover, giving her an extension would be relevant to the design and organization categor y as well. Finally, this conversation did not include any c ognitive presence indicator s was satisfied with it as an instant messenger tool because it did not require insta lling additional programs and it was shared by all classmates. She wished her group had utilized it more often. Regarding its role for the learning community, she reported: Although not as effective as the ellumi n ate program, I do believe that any synchron ous communication tool, such as Gmail chat, promotes social interaction amongst students and teachers, especially with an online course. (Reflection 2)
309 She believed it was effective for social presence. She could not comment on cognitive presence because s he said she did not use it for learning. In terms of teaching presence, she noted that she did not observe me teaching on chat. She must have conceived teaching presence solely as direct teaching. She valued my being available on chat whenever she needed. CoI, and Satisfaction April valued a socio constructivist approach to online education. She considered mentioned before authent ic interaction or the simulation of such is a key element in instruction because it allows the students to feel safe and comfortable and more willing to e f lection 1). Likewise, she regarded feeling a sense of community as a significant factor for students to feel connected to the class, comfortable and being valued so as to be successful learners. Having a feeling of community within a classroom is an integral part of effective teaching. Students have things I like to call affective filters that k eep them from reaching their fullest potential. These filters can be things like being tired, being easily distracted, or feeling unwelcome or negatively about their environment. When students feel safe and welcome in a classroom they are more likely to fe el comfortable enough to activity participate in class. That being said, I feel that this program is very useful for a distance learning course. I would not necessarily say the same thing for a class where students meet face to face on a usual basis. Howe ver, a sense of community and the ability to have authentic communication
310 with one another are things that are rare with online courses. The Elluminate program seeks to help solve this problem. (Reflection 1) Her first impression on Elluminate Live was in (Interview 1). Different from her previous online learning experience, this course met her said (Interview 1). Elluminate Live provided not only real time interaction with other students and the teacher, but also it enabled group activities and hand on interaction with 1) and made 1). For her, it had an advantage over face to face classroom too by taking away negative distraction due to looking over people (Reflection 1). In her first and second reflect ion, she commented on the role of synchronous communication and her sense of the CoI: I have taken a lot of online classes. Usually they are just like this is due here, submit it here. There is no actual communication and not like actual community. An onli ne learning community would be when people are actually interacting with each other and communicate. And with this program, it seems like, online community is even more so because we are interacting with each other more on personal basis rather than just e mails or whatever. (Reflection 1) She was very satisfied with the course itself and conducting synchronous class meetings which she believed has a positive influence on creating a community of inquiry:
311 I believe Elluminate help builds a sense of communit y within our online class. I enjoy being able to interact with other students as well as the instructor on a more personal basis from the comfort of my own home. Students were able to ask questions and correct any misunderstandings on the spot. This abilit y is not a common one when it comes to distance learning. (Reflection 2) At the end of the SLA Meeting, she seemed certain that we had established a community have in fact established a community of learning. I do mostly feel a member of this 3). At our first interview, when I asked her if her feeling a sense of community of inquiry was related to just the use of synchronous communication or there were other factors, she emphasized that it was not the sole reason: but I think it helps like greatly as far as seeing people, talking to the people, hearing people and being able to interact with them in that way. (Interview 1) She b feedback, and the mass amount of cooperative learning assignments positively affected creating an effective learning co 1). Social Presence According to April, among all her online courses, she felt the strongest social comfortable and connected with this course, pe ople, and the instructor and students than 2). In her first reflection, she reported:
312 I felt that this was the closest to the real thing that I have experienced while taking a distance learning course. I f elt that the interaction between students and teacher was very authentic and wonderfully imitated a face to face classroom setting. (Reflection 1) a instruction because it allows the students to feel safe and comfortable and more willing to 1). She felt very comfortable interact ing with other students and the instructor. S a safe and warm learn 1). provided for (Survey 2) and helped her perceive the instructor and other students as more real: It was very easy to bel ieve you were talking to a living being and not just a 1) I think it was much more effective than having to read text. It puts a voice to a name. It makes you feel more connected and comfortable with the person. (Survey 2) Being satisfied with the meetings and feeling a sense of social presence in the I feel all student needs were met for both an online course as well as a face to face instruction. Students were able to (Rfelection 1)
313 In her next written reflection, she commented on how social presence was contributing positively to the learning environme nt. She compared the online interactions at our meeting to interactions in an on campus classroom: Despite the fact that I was in the comfort of my own home, I felt that the social interaction was very real and authentic. This greatly contributed to the le arning environment. Although I could not see their faces, I felt as if I could just as easily communicate with my peers and instructor as I would if I was in a face to face classroom setting. (Reflection 2) The last two meetings, SLA Theories and LEP Analy sis which gave students a chance to be the moderator and do presentations, were particularly effective for April. She considered both meetings as imitating face to face classroom presentations. She also ence: This meeting provided for a more realistic perception of social presence. We the students were able to talk to the class and interact with one another more so than the past Elluminate sessions. Minus the fact that we could not see our classmates give their presentation, we were still able to present to the class. This greatly for the instructors [ sic ] presence. You were moderating the class just as you would in a face to f ace classroom presentation assignment. (Reflection 3) meetings, April displayed a moderate participation rate. She was very active in the Phonology and Morphology meeting to interact with her group members particularly with Tom about the lesson plan practice activity that Tom had not shared with the group
314 yet. There were a total of 12 messages sent by her to group members using the private message option of the chat tool. The messag es included greetings and phatics such as how are you doing? are you figureing [ sic ] out this elluminate thing quick indicators of group cohesion and open communic ation. She also sent 3 messages to the classroom and participated in answering questions through highlighting and matching activities. In our Midterm Review meeting, she hardly communicated. Before our session started, she greeted other students who were online by addressing them with their first names, which would indicate group cohesion. She also played with Whiteboard drawing tools. In the SLA meeting, she was the moderator for the group and presented the Social Cultural Theory in an interactive way. Sh e posed anticipatory questions initially and checked the answers at the end of her presentation. She was successful in involving students. Other group members contributed to the presentation by using the chat and microphone tools. April posted 4 short mess ages in the chat log during that meeting s which might be because she presentation to worry about what everyone else was saying. Instead, I was paying 3). At the last meeting when students presented their LEP Analysis projects, she was not the moderator and was not very participator I am sick as a dog. I was more comfortable using emotions and text based chat because of this. I feel that
315 (Reflection 4). She posted 11 written messages on chat. Those messages included 2 happy praising comments. She seemed to reflect all t h r e e elements of the social presence. Teaching Presence April was quite positi ve about the teaching presence existed in the course over the I felt the instructor s support ; facilitation of discourse and direct teaching 2). Concerning my availability, she said: expressed her satisfaction: at their office hour either. Because they are just like 2 hours during a day at the limited time. You are very flexible. You work around our schedule. You make the extra effort, so I think this makes me satisfied. You are better than most teachers I have ever had. (Interview 1) She added that using synchronous communication tools made me more available to the tion 2). In her evaluation of the course design and materials, she expressed how she found the course well organized and the materials effective. She enjoyed the flexibility in time that online courses offer, but she found live meetings beneficial as well:
316 I enjoy the way this class is set up. I can do everything from the comfort of my own home. I am not required to log on at a certain time; I can do my work as I please. I do appreciate, however, the once in a while ellumiate chat session. This helps great ly with clarifying any confus ion s students might have. (Survey 1) Synchronous meeting times did not create any problem for her. On the contrary, she a month meeting a nd you could ask for clarification and once a month is not that often. 2). She believed that I was detail oriented and provided them more than what was 1) in term s of instructions and explanations. At our first interview, when she said she was feeling a welcoming and effective learning environment, I asked her if teaching presence contributed to this and she responded: Yes, because this course is very organized. Th ere is introduction letters for every section. That is more than I really expect from an online course. You make little checklists for us to use when we are done. Not only what is due and when but you And you are very helpful with any explanation or clarification. We feel comfortable with all these thorough explanations of what you can do and you wrote all these items in r ubrics and they help as well. Because she thought she was a disorganized person to stay on track, she benefited greatly from introduction letters, reminder emails, checklist, and Elluminate Live meetings.
31 7 Regarding my direct teaching role on live meetings, she rated them very effective. For example, for Phonology and Morphology mee textbook lacking at times, so it was very beneficial to have the content taught in different 1). For this meeting, she liked how I made students actively interact with each other in group activity as well as with the PowerPoint by highlighting words and drawing lines for matching type questions, but she thought there should be more of these kinds of activities to involve students. Her other suggestions included checking on each student in case they might not be really present in the session though they seem: I think it would have been a lot more cooperatively interactive if we had more group work within a lesson... Also someone could login and just walk away from their computer. Other things would ma y help, maybe like, you know, probably Elluminate, just the class itself, other than cooper ative learning assignments which greatly helped and we had a lot of them so there is really nothing else I can suggest to improve the community. (Interview 2) April believed that my use of the webcam during the Phonology and Morphology meeting was very hel pful not only in terms of enhancing social presence but also for direct teaching which affected her learning in the end: The ability to see the instructor teach was beneficial because facial expressions help display messages sometimes. Additionally it he lps the students feel more comfortable, that the teacher is a real person and the student is not just talking to a computer. Being able to see the teacher talking is most defiantly beneficial when
318 discussing phonology because students are able to see how t he mouth shapes and forms different sounds. (Reflection 1) accentuated that Elluminate Live meetings provided her with immediate feedback which she needed for clarification of cer tain things. She thought I managed group presentations 4). She felt a safe, risk free and welc oming learning atmosphere where she could freely interact with others: physically interact with the power point as well and verbally communicate with the teacher. Like I mentioned before authentic interaction or the simulation of such is a key element in instruction because it allows the students to feel safe and comfortable and more willing to learn. I feel all student needs were met for both an online course as well as a face to face instruction. Students were able to do just about anything they could do in a normal classroom setting. (Reflection 1) Cognitive Presence April emphasized that she enjoyed and benefited most from participating in a dynamic, collaborative and authentic learning environment. In her written reflections, she have an important role (Interview 1) for her learning as they ameliorated cognitive presence by turning learning experience into more authentic, enabling imm ediate feedback and interactions and facilitating knowledge. Regarding her learning experience at the Phonology and Morphology meeting, she noted:
319 I found that last section was pretty hard with all phonology, you know IPA, that was a little bit o ver my he ad, but through these Elluminate sessions it really helped clarifying the misunderstandings because it was almost like a face to face really you know, got rid of any confusion s or whatever. So as far as my other online classes, this class has been pretty good as far as with facilitation of knowledge without the whole face to face interaction. (Interview 1) Furthermore, she stated that watching the teacher phonemes was very help Being able to see the teacher talking is most defi nite ly beneficial when discussing phonology (Reflection 1). She expressed that other factors that enhanced cognitive p resence were live interactions with classmates and active participation: I also enjoy the ability to talk in groups as well as privately between other students using Elluminate. I very much enjoyed being able to interact with the power point and the lesso n being taught. This makes for learning more authentic. This is very important especially when dealing with distance learning situations. (Reflection 1) She highlighted the importance of differentiated instruction, learning styles, and immediacy in interac tion for which Elluminate Live was an effective medium: Not everybody can read the book and understand everything. Some people need to hear it explained differently. Like if you read something and it does not make any sense and they talk to someone, and th ey hear the same things put in different words, and they get it. It actually what Eluminate does for this class. We can hear
320 something in different way than the book and we get it. It is like visual not as effective as hearing it or seeing it happen. It is asynchronous so time is a bit problem. (Interview 1) Drawing on her experience of watching o ur recorded Elluminate Live meetings, she expressed the following advantages of having recordings for her learning: I watched the orientation also midterm review. It was not just PowerPoint slide; it was actual explanation. So when we were doing for the mi dterm, it was really nice to go back and be able to hear someone explaining it rather than just trying to remember what you heard in class the other day. (Interview 1) presentation She said she was always stressed to do a class presentation not only in an online course. She was concerned about her grade and so occupied with her own presentation that she could not pay attention to other presentations and learn from them effectively. She said: As far as group presentations go, I think for example maybe if two groups today, not all at once, it would be more effective because there is no way to change the fact that when someone has to present they will be preoccupied on their own presen tation because no matter how much someone prepared, they still try to prepare the last minute. So it is kind of like just a problem that all classes have when someone presents, they will be preoccupied with their own presentations. As far as group work and
321 it is the same thing because that is not a big grade you have to prepare for as a part of interacting in the class. (Interview 2) April was the most experienced onl ine student in our class. She prefers taking online courses to on campus courses because she believe s she learn s m ore from online courses. She provided in depth information how she perceived online education, community building, and the role of synchronous communications. Having a social constructivist approach to teaching and learning she valued the course design and use of synchronous communications, particularly Elluminate Live in our course. Regarding Gmail Chat, she felt that it enhanced her sense of social presence of her classmates and the instructor. which she thought more efficient than having fixed office hours. Although she had taken several online courses previously, o ur course was the first one utilizing a synchronous web based co urse system. S he believed our live meetings promoted the community of inquiry. She expressed that she had never felt such strong social presence in he r previous online courses. She perceived interaction a s the key to creating an online learning community. Regarding cognitive presence, s he emphasized the effectiveness of online group activities and interactive tools of the Whiteboard. Overall, she felt as a member of an effective online learning community and was very satisfied with the course, her learning, and synchronous communications.
322 Conclusion to Chapter Four I have presented the data analysis and results herein. First, I analyzed the Gmail Cha t logs and five Elluminate Live meeting recordings in terms of CoI. I also expounded how three selected participants perceived synchronous communications in terms of CoI. In the following chapter, I will discuss the results in light of the research questio ns Then, I will proceed with implications for theory practice and future research.
323 CHAPTER FIVE : DISCUSSION AND IMPLI CATIONS Introduction to Chapter Five The purpose of this study was to examine the use of two synchronous communication tools and their role in building a community of inquiry in an online preservice ESOL course. Therefore, first, Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live class recordings a re analyzed from the C ommunity of I nquiry ( CoI ) framework. Second, rich and thick portraits of the three target ed es are discussed in Chapter 4. In this final chapter I will discuss the findings in light of the research questions. In addition, I will outline pedagogical and theoretical implications that emerged during data c ollection and analysis. Lastly, I will conclude with discussion of further research directions. Discussion of Findings for Research Questions This study was guided by the following overarching question: How does the use of synchronous communication tools mediate the community of inquiry in an online pre service ESOL course? Two different synchronous communication tools were used in the course where the study took place, therefore, two further research questions with sub questions were formulated to guide t he study: The first question focused on Gmail Chat while the second question focused on a synchronous web based course system (SWBCS), El luminate Live:
324 1. How does the use of Instant Messenger (IM), Gmail Chat (for extended virtual office hour) mediate the community of inquiry? 1.1. How does the use of IM mediate social presence? 1.2. How does the use of IM mediate cognitive presence? 1.3. How does the use of IM mediate teacher presence? 1.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of IM in terms of course satisfaction? 2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate the community of inquiry? 2.1. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate social presence? 2.2. How does the use of a SWBCS (Elluminate Live) mediate cognitive presence? 2.3. How does the use of a SWBCS ( Elluminate Live) mediate teacher presence? 2.4. How do students perceive the value and effects of a SWBCS in terms of course satisfaction? Gmail Chat, CoI and Satisfaction P rovided by the university, adjacent to the official email page, and not requiring addit ional software use, Gmail Chat was very convenient to use. When students had a question and needed to contact me, or when they were about to respond to an email, they were able to switch to chat if I w as online. There were a total of 52 chat conversation s between students and me the majority of which took place in the last two weeks of the course. This shows that students needed more instructor support towards the end of the semester to complete their assignments and get clarification on their grades and feedback. In addition, all chat sessions except for one were text based. Although there were two fail ed attempts for audio chat by the
325 students because of a required update for audio communications, it seems students feel more comfortable with text based chat than audio or video conversation. Another reason could be that because these interactions were unplanned and often lasting for only a few minutes, text chat). Once a session start ed, students might have refrained from initiating audio talk considering the shortness of the conversation. Niphard and Murphy (2007) also observed similar pattern on Elluminate Live class meetings when students exclusively used text based chat. Although t hese two tools provide very different settings and therefore might have different reasons for tool choice, students might feel more comfortable with text based communication which provides them time to formulate and revise their questions and responses as one of the participants, Kristina expressed: I used written text mainly because I am more comfortable with it and feel like I can express what I want to say better this way than in any other way. I did use the other methods of communications but I was stil l more comfortable with text (Reflection 4) Chat conversations seemed to encourage more casual and affective conversations which promoted social presence (Stein, et al., 2007). I observed more social presence in chat logs than emails and asynchronous disc ussion forums. Therefore, instant messaging tools made casual conversations possible and may create a trustful bond between an instructor and student. Gmail Chat dialogues (between students and the instructor) reflected all three elements of the CoI framew ork -social, teaching and cognitive presences though at different levels. Social presence was the most prevalent element followed by teaching
326 and finally cognitive presence. This distribution can be explained by the fact that almost all conversations inclu de d social presence indicators of salutations, greetings, closures, emoticons, asking questions and appreciating the help. Open communication projected by students w as higher than personal/affective and group cohesion categories because open communication involves the questions being asked. This pattern is similar to previous research (Aky ol, Vaughan & Garrison, 2009) High o pen communication indicated that students perceived a welcoming learning environment and felt comfortable ask ing questions of the ins tructor. Comparing social presence indicators by the students to those projected by me, I found that my group cohesion indicators were slightly more than closures than stu questions triggered teaching presence, especially the direct instruction category By affording opportunities to be available to students in real time when they needed a quick answer or immediate clarification on course assignments, Gmail Chat enabled the manifestation of design and organization, direct instruction, and facilitation of discourse. Direct instruction indicators were observed the most because the needs of the students often led the instructor to provide feedback, clarify assignments and instructions, and submitting assignments. Real time spontaneous student instructor needs and satisfactio n. Cognitive presence was the least observed category in the chat dialogues between the students and me. Aligned with previous research, this finding also emphasized the critical role of teaching presence in designing effective learning tasks for cognitiv e
327 presence to take place ( Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005; Kanuka, Liam, & Laflamme, 2007; Meyer, 2004). In my course, the role of Gmail Chat sessions was not to teach but rather to be available to students for impromptu interactions. In addition, student s often had questions related to clarification and extension on assignments request, group formation issues, course schedule and locati on of materials. Moreover, because ne eds that would have led to cognitive presence might have been met through Elluminate Live and asynchronous communications. However, examples of cognitive presence indicators showed that although not as effective as Elluminate Live, Gmail Chat can be used t o achieve cognitive presence, especially through the triggering event, exploration and integration phases of the Practical Inquiry model. The study results indicated that students were very satisfied with Gmail Chat no matter how often they used it. Yet, students who used it more often showed higher excitement and satisfaction in their reflections. As an instructor, I was also very content with this tool to make myself more available to the students and to provide immediate support to them when needed. Fre quent chat dialogues with s tudents helped me get to know them better. I was able to feel social presence of the students who were often online and chatted with me better than those who did not use the chat. The main obstacle for students to use Gmail Chat with their group members was schedule conflicts. However, I also believe that another factor could be not having a proactive group organizer member to plan for live meetings for the group. Two of the five groups which scheduled their discussion meetings us ed Gmail Chat effectively to discuss section questions and to collaborate on group projects. The s atisfaction level of
328 these students was very high. Although other students did not use it often, they still were satisfied with Gmail Chat, which met their ne eds for impromptu conversations with the instructor and group members. Therefore, we can conclude that if instructors require student groups to utilize Gmail Chat and plan their weekly meetings early in the semester, this tool can also allow for effective manifestations of cognitive presence. In conclusion, results showed that Gmail Chat supports emergence of community of inquiry through affording opportunities for synchronous communication among students as well as between student and instructor. Conversa tions include d both social and academic dialogues, use of emoticons, informal language, which lead to manifestation of teaching and social presence and to some extent cognitive presence. However, depending on how and why it is used, it can promote cognitiv e presence to a higher degree. Elluminate Live, CoI and Satisfaction Both student participants and I as the course instructor were very satisfied with Elluminate Live and perceived it as an effective SWBCS to create and sustain a community of inquiry in our online course. Its ease of access through the course management system (Blackboard), user friendliness, and interactive tools provided a rich medium for our community to meet live as a class to conduct class and group activities, discuss questions, sup port each other, and have dynamic and multi dimensional interactions (audio, text chat, emoticons, Whiteboard). Elluminate Live received many face to face meetings to be brought into an otherwise
329 meetings. Although we achieved a high participation rate for each session, meeting times w ere not convenient for some stu dents. S cheduling synchr o nous meetings for online courses is a challenge to consider (Park & Bonk, 2007). Elluminate Live provided ample opportunities for social presence to be projected and felt by the course members. Participants emphasized that they fel t a real classroom atmosphere when they were on Elluminate Live because of several reasons. First, they were able to see who w as online in the participants window and had the option to communicate with whom ever they chose in private or in public. They wer e also able to listen and talk, ask and answer questions through chat or audio, and use interactive Whiteboard tools to type on the board similar to what students do in a face to face classroom. In addition, they stated that watching the teacher explain an d demonstrate the topics were both effective for their learning and enhanced the social presence of the Elluminate Live was a highly effective medium for all categories of social presence to be manifested. All me e tings displayed indicators of social presence categories. There were slight frequency changes among categories in each meeting, however rather than the temporal effect, it was the meeting methods and activities affe cting which category indicators appeared For instance, open communication and group cohesion indicators were higher in SLA Theories and LEP Analysis project presentation meetings than Orientation and Midterm Review meetings. This was because both in SLA T heories and LEP Analysis meetings, student groups were presenting content and leading class discussion s which gave opportunities for students to complement each other, appreciate, ask questions, agree and disagree with each other. In contrast I moderat ed the
330 discussions and ask ed questions in the Orientation and Midterm Review meetings most of the time. These tasks did not create much opportunity for social presence indicators among students. Similarly, teaching presence projected by students or by me was influenced by how the meetings were designed. When given active roles, students displayed both cognitive presence and teaching presence indicators simultaneously. led discussions and presentations were positive as well Such activities helped them get to know each other better since almost all students took turn s us ing the microphone and to some degree project ed personal/affective indicators. These activities also enabled them to learn new perspectives from each other a nd share personal anecdotes. Critical role of teaching presence As the CoI framework suggests the three presences are very dynamic, interacting, and overlapping. It is almost impossible to discuss how they were projected in live meetings in an exclusive way because often even one dialogue over a discussion of a question displays all presences cyclically. While teaching presence is mediating social and cognitive presence, social presence also seems to be moderating both teaching and cognitive presence by a dding intimacy, use of vocatives, feelings, appreciation, respect, and humor. Nonetheless, for effective cognitive presence to develop, dialogues need to lead to integration and resolution, which is tightly depende nt on how tasks are designed, questions ar e formulated, climate is set, and discourse is facilitated This highlights the central role of teacher effectiveness. Instructors, whether in face to face or online environment s must hold effective teacher dispositions, skills, and knowledge. Even in an online setting, online teacher educators serve to be role models for preservice teachers
331 T herefore we need to apply various effective teaching approaches, methods, and techniques in our online courses not only to provide the best learning environment, bu t also opportunities for preservice teachers to observe and hopefully incorporate in their own teaching repertoire. This finding of the critical role of teaching presence is aligned with previous research (Akyol & Garrison, 2008; Anderson, et al., 2001; Ar baugh, 2008; Ice, et al., 2007; Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005 ; Kanuka, et al., 2007 ; Shea et al., 2005; Shea & Bidjerano 2009 ; Vesely, et al., 2007). What follows next is the discussion of significant themes identified in this study. Critical role of s ocial presence for cognitive presence In align ment with previous CoI studies, this research also identified that social presence is a crucial element to be achieved to promote cognitive presence (Akyol & G arrison 2010 ; A rbaugh, 2008; Garrison & Arbaugh, 2007; Garrison & Cleveland Innes, 2005 ; Garrison & Vaughan, 2008; Richardson & Swan, 2003 ; S wan & Shih, 2005) Participants emphasized that knowing their classmates helped them feel comfortable to ask questions and participate in discussions. Establishing social presence prevented feeling when they needed to ask a question as Tom said As their sense of social presence increased, active participation also increased in live meetings. However, we cannot attribute higher participat ion exclusively to the social presence level because each meeting design and activities differed and towards the end of the semester students were assigned more active roles and were graded on their participation.
332 Effects of student expectations, previou s experience, and preferred teaching and learning styles Congruent with previous studies, p interactions and CoI seemed to be affected by their course expectations, previous online education experience, and their lea rning and teaching styles ( Shea, Pickett, & Pelz 2003 ; Swan & Shih, 2005) Participants who valued collaborative learning considered live meetings and group activities as very important to enhance our community of inquiry. One of the participants who did not enjoy speaking in a classroom environment and d id not prefer collaborative learning, did not have desire to be a member of online learning community. She was not so sure how her learning and sense of community would be different without the use of Ellu minate Live Her course expectations were affected by her previous online course experience which was self directed and did not resemble our course at all. She emphasized that she enjoyed the meetings, learned from other students, received different perspe ctives and various teaching ideas, but she felt she could have received the same benefits just from reading and studying alone which w as her learning preference Similarly, one of the students in this class as well as some other students from my previous c ourses shared with me that they perceived online courses as independent learning and for self motivated students and if they needed an interactive learning environment they would have registered for a face to face section. They believed collaborative lear interesting to observe such differences among student expectations and perceptions of online education. This also supports the findings of Vesely, Bloom, and Sherlock ( 2007 ) as they foun d that community
333 might be an important factor in how they project their presence and how they perceive the learning community. Greater sense of social presence for the group and instructor Similar to what Stodel, MacDonald and Thompson (2006) found, this study revealed that participants felt stronger social presence of their group members than for other classmates. In addition, participants also felt stronger social presence of the instructor compa red to non group members. This can be attributed to a higher number of interactions among group members and individual students and me. Although all students were required to interact with their classmates both on the discussion forum and during live meeti ngs, this was probably less than the communication they had within their own groups. This finding also gives support to previous studies putting the interaction at the core of education, online learning and community of inquiry (Boettcher & Conrad, 1999; Change in p erspective s over t ime progressed in the semester. Two participants admitted that at the beginning of the semester they never expect ed to feel a sense of community in an online course. Yet, by mid semester, after our third live meeting, they noted how they started feeling part of a community of inquiry and by the end of the semester they felt even more membership and were very satisfied. This shows that for an effective community of inquiry to develop, members also need time in addition to a well designed course with collaborative learning pedagogies.
334 Perceiving teaching presence as conte nt teaching From my interactions with participants and reading their reflections I realized that participants perceive teaching presence as solely teaching content (presenting and explaining) rather than all components of teaching presence: design and or ganization, direct teaching, facilitation of discourse and being available and approachable. Through interviews I needed to get detailed information from my participants. I wonder if students is the case, how it affects it not be unfair to overlook extensive work to design the course, create course materials, grade assignments, provide feedback and technical help, and answer student questions? A fu rther study might focus on what students expect from online instructors and how their expectations shape their satisfaction and CoI perceptions. Other factors found to be effective by students for CoI This study also highlighted that a part fr om synchrono us communications, the overall course design based on socio constructivist and collaborative learning, group assignments, weekly group and class discussions which were planned in detail, frequent emails, prompt feedback and self introductions and social co nversation on e caf positively contributed to the creation of a community of inquiry through establishment of social presence and facilitation of cognitive and teaching presences Participants also found course materials, assignments, rubrics, and the tex tbook effective for their learning. This finding solidifies the critical role of teaching presence, which begins even before the are pivotal for creating an online community of inquir y. Again, this is not restricted to online education
335 only. Any learning environment, face to face, blended or online, requires instructors who are responsive, welcoming, approachable and available, and who use effective pedagogical strategies. Theoretica l Implications All elements of CoI have been o bserved in synchronous learning environments in this study suggesting that synchronous interactions support building an effective community of inquiry. Manifestation of the presences depends on the types of ta sks which are tied with the objectives of the live sessions. All live class meetings require rigorous planning and preparation. However, I also observed that once a welcoming and safe learning environment w as created, regardless of the meeting type (such a s course orientation, direct teaching, student presentations, and so on) certain open communication and group cohesion indicators of the social presence tend to take place because both the instructor and students often use salutation, greeting, closure, p hatics, appreciation, peer support, vocatives and inclusive pronouns. Other indicators such as n the analysis of meeting transcriptions though. For these indicators, we need other methods of data collection such as interview, survey and written reflection, all of which proved effective in this study. Different from asynchronous discussion forums, a SWBCS creates multi dimensional and real time interactions which bring some differing patterns of CoI elements into place. To begin with, instructors need to carry out multiple roles simultaneously in a live session. While in an asynchronous discussion, a n instructor
336 might just contribute to the discourse when needed, in a live meeting the instructor must multi task by listening to students, reading text messages, writing in the chat, presenting content, and dealing with technical problems. These require m anifestation of all categories of teaching presence as well as projecting social presence to make student feel comfortable to participate, encourage interaction, respect different perspectives, and praise contributions. Therefore, teaching presence in sync hronous sessions would be less linear than it is in an asynchronous environment. Methodological and Software Implications The r ecording feature of Elluminate Live has proven to be an unobtrusive and efficient way to collect data for course based research However, there were some problems. To begin with, as a moderator I needed to sign in to the session some time in advance to upload presentation documents and I did not want to start recording at that moment so as not to cause trouble for students who wou ld watch the recording. However, once students started coming aboard, asking questions or requesting technical help, it was difficult for me to remember to initiate recording on time. This problem has been resolved with the new release of Elluminate Live a s it now prompts the moderator with a pop up window at the time of sign in saying that the recording has not been started. A moderator can keep that window open until he/she clicks on the record button. Another restriction was not being able to observe s tudent interactions within their groups. Newer versions of Elluminate Live may improve this feature. Also, a further study may focus specifically on student to student interactions within their group environment and different private sessions can be creat ed for each group to be recorded.
337 However, such a task design would not allow for an easy flow between an entire class and group activity. An additional update to Elluminate Live which would be very effective is one that would allow instructors to observ e the attendance of lurking student s Currently, we cannot be sure if a student is actively listening to the session or leaves the computer and is engaged in something else. To a certain point, through interactive tasks and comprehension checks, we can con trol this, but it would be effective if we were notified about inactivity as do many instant messenger programs which show an in the window of Elluminate Live the moderator could be notifi ed with a message if a participant student has not been active for a certain time. The instructor might be given the option to modify the length of lapse d epending on the meeting and activity For example, at the time of an online quiz, we would expect stu dents to use the program frequently while in teacher directed presentation s we may view a 5 minute lapse as normal. In terms of research, Gmail Chat was to be an effective tool for collecting written chat dialogues. If I had a chance to replicate this st udy, I would make sure all students use Gmail Chat with me during the first week of the semester because I noticed that some students did not read the instructions and refrained from using Gmail Chat due to not being able to save their interactions. In add ition, some had not downloaded the program necessary to use the audio chat feature while some just did not prefer it. Therefore, our chat dialogues had to be mostly text based. Instructors as well as researchers may need to encourage students more for use of audio and webcam i n a chat. This proves to be especially significant because the participants in this study were preservice teachers.
338 Experience with technology not only would help them overcome their technology phobia, but also encourage them to be cre ative in incorporat ing technology into their teaching. Lastly, data triangulation through surveys, interviews, researcher journal, and self 1 help ed me identify my individual parti cipants while Survey 2 displayed the participants overall evaluations and perceptions at the end of the semester. The r esearcher journal reflected mmediate feelings and perspectives right after each experience with Elluminate Live, which were specific in terms of different tasks and activities that took place in each meeting. also provided information about changes in perspectiv es over time. Interviews with the selected three participants provided many insights i nto student perceptions, feelings and thoughts. Participants provided more information during the interviews than they did in their written reflections and surveys. It he lped us clarify any issues and identified new themes. It also enhanced our social presence. Pedagogical Implications This study has demonstrated that synchronous communication tools effectively promote CoI in an online course. As previously discussed in Chapter 2, the majority of online courses include solely asynchronous communications, which may lead to student isolation, frustration, and delay in communication and feedback. Our course included both asynchronous and synchronous communications. Asynchron ous interactions were carried out through group and class discussions in each section through discussion board, document sharing, emails, and other Blackboard tools such as the grade book where I
339 provided feedback to students. In addition, I used Gmail Cha t and Elluminate Live for synchronous communications. Although synchronous communications enhanced CoI, the overall course design based on socio constructivist learning had a big role in creating CoI. First and foremost, group formations for semester long section discussions and major projects enabled social presence among group members to prosper. All participants stated that they felt social presence stronger for their group members compared to other classmates. Therefore, the results of this study provid e support to previous studies and researchers putting collaborative learning and interaction at the core of online education and community of inquiry ( Arbaugh, 2005; Richardson, & Swan, 2003; Rovai, 2002). Moreover, creating a forum just for self introduct ions and social conversations (e Caf in this course), posting photographs with introductions, frequent emails, and holiday What follows next is the discussion of practical implication s for Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live. Gmail Chat I used Gmail Chat to be available to my students in real time to answer their questions. This proved to be very effective in place of holding fixed office hours or just being available via email. Students di d not need to download any additional software. Having both chat and email application s on one screen facilitated the synchronous interactions. Compared to Elluminate Live, Gmail Chat did not require any creation of meeting sessions, therefore, it was more readily available to the students.
340 Based on their schedule, instructors may provide students with fixed hours to be available online. However, there are some implications that we can derive from this study to better the use of Gmail Chat or any other ins tant messaging tool: Provid e clear instructions and if possible visual representation for first time users Requir e students to meet you online during the first week of the semester to test the tool with audio and if possible video options Emphasiz e tha t Gmail chat conversations are saved and can be searched with key words when needed Encourag e student groups to utilize the chat for group communication and collaboration Motivat e students to use audio and video chat Remind students to sign in to chat wh en they study for the course so that they can communicate with their classmates who are studying at the same time Elluminate Live Training and Planning As necessary for all lessons or meetings, a live online meeting requires knowing how to use the tools planning the session agenda in detail, providing clear directions, and having a back up plan for unforeseen problems. First and foremost, institutions need to provide avenues for faculty training and professional development for becoming effective onlin e educators. Transition from on campus teaching to online teaching should not be seen as an easy task of digitizing course
341 content. Like face to face instructors, online instructors need to be approachable, available, understanding, and welcoming. They mus t remain open and flexible to ideas, diverse techniques, and new programs and applications. They need to know how to utilize these programs effectively to meet course objectives rather than using technology for the sake of technology. Regarding using SWC S, faculty also need appropriate training in strategies, techniques and methods to create CoI efficaciously. They may benefit from studying guidelines, attending virtual or on campus workshops, and collaborating with colleagues. Further, any instructor pla n ning to implement synchronous communication tools need s to practice with them first. Practicing with the tools before using them in a live meeting with the class will provide tremendous help to foresee possible obstacles and plan sessions accordingly. For example, on Elluminate Live, assigning students to breakout rooms, group during breakout activity, reminding about time, and taking all students back to the main room mig ht be challenging. Having a detailed written plan would be useful for the instructors for a live session since unexpected things may happen and instructors may get distracted and forget important tasks in their agenda. It is frustrating to have technical p roblems or lose the Internet connection just minutes before a live class meeting. Therefore, in order not to panic, it is advisable to have a back up plan and communicate this with the students so that they will know what to do in case you have technical p roblems and are late to the meeting or if you suddenly get disconnected in the middle of a session. If problems occur before the session starts, asking students to discuss a problem that has been sent them via
342 email and wait for you for 10 minutes may prev ent cancelling the meeting if you resolve the technical problems. If you lose the connection during the session, students may continue with their task (like presentation or group activity) for some time. In addition, asking students to check their emails i n case of a technical problem might be useful if you are able to send email to the class about the situation. Giving clear directions for everything even for something as seemingly simple as to how to do introduc tions is necessary Aylin effective introduction because it does not help members get to know each other. I t also makes it hard to follow each participant as turns become so fast. Directions are especially important for break out activities because commu nication with each group becomes a challenge once students are assigned to break out rooms. The i nstructor ( or assistant moderators if available ) can enter each group to check on their progress and answer any questions the groups have. However, students ne ed to be informed about these possible group visits by the moderators beforehand. Interactivity Multi dimensional and dynamic interactions are made possible through the use of different tools available on Elluminate Live. While this system can be u s ed fo r preparing content presentations for use as asynchronous course materials, for a fun and effective live meeting instructors need to promote interactivity through making different tools available to students (such as chat, audio, emoticons, Whiteboard tool s) and designing effective activities. Listening to a live lecture without any active participation does not differ from listening to a previously recorded lecture. This neither motivates students to listen attentively nor provides the instructor with feed back. Participants in this study
343 highly valued the interactive activities that we used. Asking students to do presentations or lead a discussion will give them a totally different experience. Such activities will enhance peer support and scaffolding. Thus, online instructors interested in using a SWBCS should plan their sessions to involve students actively as much as possible. In and asking about the pace of the sess ion, and using humor to take attention. Making use of different tools will also add excitement and effectiveness to the session. For example, taking students on a web tour, using break out activities, devising student presentations, creating interactive Po werPoint documents where students can draw, highlight or type on were efficacious in this study. S etting C limate All participants expressed that they valued how my strategies and verbal encouragement made them feel comfortable and stress free during our meetings. I realized the critical role of setting the climate especially when April expressed how the SLA Theories meeting. Because she had technical problems and attended the mee ting late s he was not online when I tried to create a stress free learning environment at the beginning of the meeting. Use of W ebcam Using a webcam on Elluminate Live augments social presence and cognitive presence. Results showed that participants appr eciated when I u s ed a webcam to introduce myself and to explain certain phonology topics. They expressed that it made them feel my social presence. They had a picture to go along with my name and audio,
344 which made them see me Also, they stated that my facial expressions and demonstrations helped them learn voicing feature and how some phonemes are produced. However, I think students do not feel comfortable us ing their webcam in a class meeting. They could have used a webcam during their SLA Theories and LEP Analysis project presentations. Moreover, I could have used it more often rather than just using it to demonstrate certain topics. It was not because I did not feel comfortable with it, but rather I just did not remember it. It was onl y during our interviews that both participants and I use d webcam s I think students and instructors may need more adjustment time to use a webcam in class session s In addition, on Elluminate Live students may need structured activities and instructions f or when and how to use a Time M anagement The last but certainly not the least critical element is time management and its articulation to the students for use in live meetings. Sometimes there might be so many questions from students that the instructor may not be able to finish his/her agenda. The instructor either may opt to continue with the questions and conduct another live meeting to finish the agenda or answer th e questions via email or resume at the end of the session if there is extra time. Time management is also important when students are doing presentations. Students should observe their allotted time. Instructors may use the timer on Elluminate Live and rem ind students about the time. Finally, when instructors pose a question to the class, he/she should be careful to give enough wait time to students to respond. Since some students might immediately answer the question on the chat or on the Whiteboard, stude nts should be reminded to wait for a minute or so before they share
345 their answer. This would give all students necessary time to think over the question before they see the answer. Recommendations for Future Research Although CoI framework is in its 10 th year, there is scar c e research on its use in online courses integrating synchronous communications. The majority of the studies analyzed asynchronous discussion board texts, which could only reflect a part of community of inquiry in a course. There is high need for more studies to investigat e synchronous interactions and tasks as well as course designs in the light of a CoI framework. This study was limited with being conducted in one online course environment in one organization only. Future research might expand to larger sample population s or might replicate this study to other contexts Future research in different contexts will provide insights into the role of instructors attributes and teaching approach acteristics. Such research will be valuable to provide an opportunity to support or question the findings of this research. The current study did not focus on how one element of CoI impacts the other. We can draw a tentative conclusion based on participant teaching presence positively affect s cognitive presence. Nonetheless, further studies may investigate the relationship among each of them and the impact of each presence, (social, cognitive, teaching) on perceived learni ng and satisfaction in synchronous communications An e xperimental case study might be conducted to compare two sections of one course taught by the same instructor where one of the sections involves synchronous communications. It would be interesting to i nvestigate in what ways CoI and student
346 satisfaction might differ by using synchronous communications. A similar study might also focus on teaching presence, in other words, how different course designs and various instructional techniques used by differen t instructors impact CoI and student satisfaction. It would also be significant to e xamine social presence within synchronous group meetings. How would it be different from entire class meetings? Would students project more social presence in their groups than in a class meeting? Would regular synchronous group meetings enhance social presence and finally cognitive presence ? We will continue to be amazed with the new technologies entering into online education. For example, currently internet phones and i Pad applications are g aining in popularity. Therefore further research can explore pedagogical applications and results of new multimedia or learning management systems through t he lens of a CoI framework. Conclusion This study yielded that s ynchronous c ommunications in the form of impromptu student instructor interactions on an instant messaging tool and live class meetings facilitated the manifestation of the CoI elements social, teaching, and cognitive h Gmail Chat reinforced the students needed them and enhanced social presence. It appeared that the more the students used this chat with their group members the more sat isfied were they with it in terms of CoI. A SWBCS, Elluminate Live provide d effective tools to implement collaborative and constructivist learning activities and create d a real classroom feel where students
347 could project their own social presence and fee l the presence of other members Through immediacy and high interactivity with multiple tools such as webcam, audio, text chat, breakout room, and Whiteboard tools, Elluminate Live enabled the development of a dynamic balance of all the presences to sustai n a community of inquiry In conclusion, when used in coordination with asynchronous communication tools such as email, discussion forum and other course management system tools in a preservice ESOL online course which was designed and delivered based on s ocio constructivist learning and teaching techniques, synchronous interactions have shown to positively contribute to the development of an effective online community of inquiry.
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377 Appendix A : Syllabus College of Education University of South Florida FLE 4316, Language Principle s and Acquisition Section 798(Distance Learning) Syllabus Fall 2009 Instructor: Aylin Tekiner Tolu Office: Virtual Office via Elluminate audio/video by appointment and find me online at Gmail Chat E mail: atek email@example.com Prerequisite : FLE 4315 Course Description: This course is totally online That is, we will not be able to have fa ce to face office hour or class meeting except the orientation and midterm days. All communications will be via the Internet mostly asynchronously (email and discussion boards) and a few times synchronously (real time meetings for office hours and 4 class meetings) for which you need a headset to be able to talk. Webcam is not necessary but preferred. The course provides an overview of the components of language, linking them to methods and techniques of providing comprehensible instruction to English langu age learners. Designed for pre service and in service teachers, this course supports the development of professional literacy skills geared towards appropriate pedagogical practices for the instruction of English language learners in Florida. Course Goals & Objective s 1. Students will demonstrate basic comprehension of the sub fields of Linguistics by defining, describing and applying to social and classroom context the disciplines of: A) Phonology & Phonetics B) Morphology C) Semantics D) Syntax E) Di scourse, Pragmatics, & Nonverbal Communication 2. Students will apply their comprehension of the subfields of linguistics through: Analyzing authentic oral and written language of English language learners (from videotaped and/or audio taped oral samples and samples of student writing) in class. Developing a case study describing an English language learner's linguistic competence. 3. Students will apply their knowledge of linguistics and the second language acquisition process to developing, implementin g, and evaluating appropriate instruction through: Developing lesson plans and assessment measures for a variety of topics with appropriate instructional modifications for English language learners Developing a case study describing an LEP student's lite racy development. Essential Websites 1. Blackboard link for the course site and email (Gmail) at https://my.usf.edu (You must access this site regularly!)
378 Appendix A (Continued) 2. Main college ESOL Website http://www.coedu.usf.edu/esol (Site has inform ation on the endorsement, the ESOL Folder, and resources.) 3. FLE e Portfolio Policies and Chalk & Wire http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/departments/seced/ForLang/FLEePortfolioPolicies.ht m http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/chalkandwire/index.htm Required Textb ook: Ariza, E. et al. (2006) Why TESOL? Theories and Issues in Teaching English as a Second Language for K 12 Teachers. (3rd ed) Kendall/Hunt Publishing Company. ISBN 13: 978 0757527005 Available at USF Bookstore. Also online @: www.amazon.com and www .bn.com Course Requirements All readings, activities, and assignments of this course are filled with numerous varied evaluation activities to support mastery of the knowledge and skills needed for effective teaching of LEP students. I ask you to use the a ssignment rubric (under Rubrics and Forms) to do a self evaluation before you submit your assignments. All assignments for this course will be submitted via Blackboard. Projects & Assessments You must see the Schedule and Calendar and each section intro duction letter for due dates. Assignments are due midnight on the dates indicated. The instructor reserves the right to revise this schedule as needed. You will be informed about any modifications. Extensions are not granted, so be certain to work on assi gnments throughout the semester, and create electronic backups of your work, even for the posts to discussion board. Be in control of your own learning you are preparing for a demanding profession with a high degree of responsibility practice both bei ng responsible and professional in this course. If this is your first distance learning course, you might find it difficult to get used to, therefore, plan ahead and visit the website at least 4 times a week and contact your professor when you have a quest ion. Late submissions are NOT accepted without a permission granted first. Late submission will lead to 10% off for each day up to a week. No assignments will be accepted after a week late. All deadlines are by midnight of the given day. Below is the summ ary of requirements. Read carefully all assignment instructions and rubrics, and check samples on Blackboard 1. Analysis of an LEP student's linguistic development (LEP Analysis): 200 points Core Task need to get at least 70% to pass. Remember to keep a print out copy in your ESOL binder. Also submit this assignment to Chalk and Wire during the finals week. This assignment will be done collaboratively in your groups. The assignment has 3 step submission:
379 Appendix A (Continued) 1. LEP Plan of Attack is 5 points. Submit your step by step plan for LEP Analysis data collection. 2. Part 1 is 45 points. Part I will include introduction, phonology, morphology, syntax and interview transcription with IPA. Part 1 will be carefully reviewed by the instructor and feedback will be provided for necessary revisions. When the whole paper (Part I and II) is submitted, you are expected to have made necessary changes to Part I and follow along in Part II. Your first grade on Part 1, out of 45 will not be changed, but th e whole paper will be graded. 3. Part 2 (the whole paper everything included introduction, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse and pragmatics, literacy, writing sample, interview transcription, signed observation form) is 150 points. 2. ESOL Modified Lesson Plans: 150 points (50 points each) Core Task need to get at least 70% to pass. Remember to keep a printout copy in your ESOL binder. Also submit this assignment to Chalk and Wire during the finals week. Can be done as a group or indi vidually! You have to plan this early in the semester so as not have any scheduling problems with your group members. Write your own lesson plans (or a unit plan) or find them on the Internet (cite the reference), then submit it for me to check them. Once I approve, you can start your modifications. Modify these lessons for a class with students at all four levels of English proficiency. You will also have a practice with lesson plan modification activity in Section 1 and 2. Each student will review other the format and all requirements provided on the instructions and rubric (Section 1 Folder & Rubrics/Forms Folder). 3. Five Online Quizzes 100 points One attempt only! Do not miss their deadlines. They wil l be automatically unavailable after 11:50pm by the deadline. 4. Midterm exam 150 points (Note: It is required to pass this exam with a 70% to receive credit for this course). The exam will be administered in a lab on campus! Retakes are allowed if you fail the midterm. There will be non graded midterm review tests and an online whole class meeting via Elluminate Live for midterm review. 5. Presentation of LEP Analysis at online Elluminate Live meeting: 100 points Each group will present their pro ject online. You will introduce your student, discuss his/her skills and major problems in each area (phonology, semantics, morphology, syntax, pragmatics, and literacy) and explain your best teaching suggestions for these areas. Presentation is 70 points (explanation, content, and answering questions, giving examples, recommendation, etc.). Those who have to miss the online meeting will do the reflection on discussion board asynchronously.
380 Appendix A (Continued) You will need a headset (or a microphone and speakers). Detailed information and the rubric are on BB under Assignments. 6. ESOL binder preliminary check and Chalk & Wire 50 points Take your binder when ready to E SOL office at EDU 266, (813 974 6880), for the preliminary check before its deadline in section 7. Make sure to get your name checked in our class list in the office. I will get the list from the office after the deadline. You will have your ESOL binder c hecked in each ESOL course you take to make sure that you have completed your work from previous ESOL courses and have received the check off sheet and that everything is in your binder. Check ESOL website for setup instructions http://www.coedu.usf.edu/ma in/ESOL/ESOLFolder.html Print and place major assignments (LEP Analysis and Lesson Plans) in your binder after they are graded. These assignments do not have to be in the binder when you get your binder checked during this semester. Place them in the bin der when you receive your grade. You are responsible to get a final check off of your ESOL binder in the ESOL Office before graduating. Any questions please contact me or refer to the ESOL Office, EDU 266, (813) 974 6880. Those who plan to graduate this semester: Be sure to have completed late field experience if you are graduating this semester and let the ESOL office assistant know that you are graduating. You will pick up your course completion checklist from the ESOL office after the semester is over. 7. Participation in group & class discussions and Reflection papers -250 points (200 points by the instructor and 50 points by your group members). Active, thoughtful, and timely participation is a critical component to creating a dynamic and effectiv e learning community online. You are expected to be an active participant in online discussions. Reading the required chapters of the text, looking at the on line presentations, and your personal findings and experiences will help the quality of the contri butions that you make. Participation in group and class discussions will be graded by the instructor (200 points). Check the discussion evaluation rubric for details. There will be four synchronous meetings (Elluminate Live) over the semester. You will su bmit a reflection paper after each live meeting. Each reflection paper is 10 points. Those who have a work or class schedule conflict or emergency problems will contact me and they will do the discussions and/or make up assignment asynchronously. They also need to inform their group members in advance if the meeting involves group work. Group and self evaluations : You will evaluate yourself and your group members at the end the semester. See the form on BB. The average point given to you by your members an d yourself will be assigned as your grade out of 50 points. This will help you get a fair individualized grade for your participation. Be professional, respectful
381 Appendix A (Continued) and responsible group member; support each other in terms of motivation and critical thinking Grading Scale Your final grade will be the total of points accumulated for the projects, activities and participation listed above. Course Overall Grade:1010 A=900 or above; B=800 899; C=700 799; D=600 699; F=0 599 ESOL Endorsem ent Requirements The ESOL Endorsement involves more than just taking the ESOL courses, please see the website for a full explanation of all the ESOL requirements: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/ESOL/ESOL.html. Here is a summary: 1. ESOL Courses: It involv es meeting all the ESOL Performance Standards (PS) in your ESOL Courses (by completing ALL assignments satisfactorily) and passing the exam with a 70% or better At the end of each of your ESOL courses you will pick up a sign off sheet for all the ESOL Pe rformance Standards met in that course from the ESOL Office EDU 266. your ESOL infused courses. 3. ESOL Late Field Experience: It involves documenting that in one of your interns hips, you have taught in a classroom for a minimum of 10 days, supervised by an ESOL Endorsed teacher; and that you have successfully planned, implemented, in the field exp erience need to be documented see ESOL Late Field Experience form at: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/ESOL/LateFieldExp.html 4. It also involves getting a final check off in the ESOL office (EDU 266) before graduation. The binder check assignment in this co urse is not your final binder check for graduation unless you have met all requirements for binder. ESOL & Florida Accomplished Practice (FAP) Requirements (for ESOL infused courses and other courses where assignments need to be collected by students to complete their portfolios): Please note certain assignments are marked (e.g., AP4 and 8, and/or ESOL22) or (*) and should be saved once graded, as appropriate documentation for one or more of the Florida Accomplished Practices/ESOL Performance Standard. You have to print out your work and put them in your binder. All ESOL courses must be completed on the Tampa campus. Chalk & Wire ePortfolio In compliance with national and state approved program standards, the Foreign Language / ESOL Education Faculty of the USF College of Education (COEDU) have identified a set of critical tasks (in ESOL 3, these are Lesson Plans or Unit Plan and LEP Analysis) that students must satisfactorily complete prior to graduation. These critical tasks are aligned with the Prepro fessional Benchmarks for the Florida Conceptual Framework.
382 Appendix A (Continued) The assessment system in the Chalk & Wire ePortfolio system is separate and distinct from the university grading syst em. Each Critical Tasks will be graded according to an established rubric provided in the Chalk & Wire System. Grading for these assignments is based on a 5 point scale with 5=Excellent; 4 = Good; 3 = Average; 2 Blackboard. Students must receive a score of 3, 4 or 5 for EACH Critical Task in order to receive a passing course grade and earn a degree. Students should log on to their ePortfolio periodically to check their grades and ensure successful completion of each Critical Task. See Foreign Language Education ePortfolio policies at: http://www.coedu.usf.edu/main/departments/seced/ForLang/FLEePortfolioPolicies.ht m Online Communication & Attendance I will communicate with yo u through Blackboard; thus, it is absolutely imperative that you ensure you receive messages from your e mail account in Blackboard. If you do not receive e mail from me through Blackboard, then you will need to check with Academic Computing and correct th e problem. In addition, communication with me should be basically through your official USF e response from me in 48 hours, contact me again. In addition, type a relevant topic in the Subject area of your email, include you r name and group name if it relates to your group. If it concerns your group, include each group member in To or in CC. Compared to face to face courses, online courses take more time for both students and teacher. It is advised that you plan to study 10 to 15 hours weekly and make whatever arrangements are needed in order to give yourself this time to devote to your studies. You are responsible for your own learning, both in terms of the knowledge and skills you are here to obtain and refine, as well as in consideration of the children whose lives you will impact in your professional practice. By taking this course, you show that you know how much time and effort you need to spend on this course. Other Policies Students with disabilities are responsible for registering with the Office of Student Disabilities Services in order to receive special accommodations and services. Please notify the instructor during the first week of classes if a reasonable accommodation for a disability is needed for this course A letter from the USF Disability Services Office must accompany this request. All students have a right to expect that the University will reasonably accommodate their religious observances, practices and beliefs. Students are expected to notify the inst ructor in writing by the second class if they intend to be absent for a class or announced examination, in accordance with this policy. Incomplete grades are ONLY available to students if all of the following conditions are true at the time of request: 7 5% of the course requirements have been met.
383 Appendix A (Continued) All course requirements that have been met have received a passing grade. The student has a documented reason for being unable to complete the course requirements. Code of Conduct: Stude nts will treat other individuals (read: your professor, your classmates, your cooperating teachers, your case study subjects, and office staff) with respect and human dignity in all interpersonal relationships, including emails, chats, group and class disc ussion messages. Academic Dishonesty: Students will not engage in theft the unauthorized taking, misappropriation or possession of any real, personal, or intellectual property owned or maintained by the university, any person on campus, or any other per son or agency. (Read: don't steal stuff, don't plagiarize even material you find on the internet, and don't copy one another's individual work. Consequences are an FF for the course, indicating dishonesty on your transcript, or dismissal from your program, the College, and/or USF). The University of South Florida has an account with an automated plagiarism detection service which allows instructors to submit student assignments to be checked for plagiarism. I reserve the right to 1) request that assignments be submitted to me as electronic files and 2) electronically submit assignments to a web based plagiarism detection program. For more information, go to http://www.ugs.usf.edu/catalogs/0405/adadap.htm. Students will not engage in disorderly conduct any breach of the peace, such as causing a disturbance or being unruly. The College of Education CAREs The College of Education is dedicated to the ideals of Collaboration, Academic Excellence, Research, and Ethics/Diversity. These are key tenets in the Con ceptual Framework of the College of Education. Competence in these ideals will provide candidates in educator preparation programs with skills, knowledge, and dispositions to be successful in the schools of today and tomorrow. For more information on the C onceptual Framework, visit: www.coedu.usf.edu/main/qualityassurance/ncate_visit_info_materials.html
384 Appendix B: Evaluation of Discussions Evaluation of Discussions Discussions are one form of interaction between students in the class and with your inst ructor. As you will learn this semester, these interactions are a very important part of distance learning. Therefore, they are a big portion of your grade. Please be sure you understand how they will be graded and that you are aware of proper Netiquette f or communicating in electronic formats. If you need a Netiquette refresher, check out the Rubrics and Forms area of the course site. Group Discussions: Students should participate substantially in group and class discussions. Groups can meet online using g roup discussion board and/or Elluminate. Elluminate meetings are recorded (both text and audio), thus I can grade them. Each student should contribute to their group if a group discussion is assigned for that section. Discussions do not mean that you post your answers to discussion questions. Frequent posts with questions, clarifications, examples, and so on need to be apparent. In each section, the summarizer should create a summary of their discussions answering the section topics effectively. The whole g roup members, especially the manager should approve the summary before it is posted to the Class Discussion Board. This requires great planning and collaboration, and having your own group deadlines to meet the course deadlines effectively. Class Discussio ns: After summaries are posted to class discussion board, each student active to ans wer any questions for their summary. Our aim is to create an effective learning environment by high level critical thinking and synthesis. If there is no group discussion for that section (Section 1), you must post your original discussion and comment on o and reflection should be evident in the conversations. Each section is designed for 2 weeks. To enable the constructive communication, all original postings have to be sent by the deadline. That is, you will have 4 days to respond/comment to others. Each group member will play a specific role in the group environment at all times. You will assign these roles during Orientation or the first section and email to me your role sharing. Everyone is re sponsible for his/her own work and required to be a productive part of the group. Peer evaluations as well as self evaluations (the form is under Rubrics/Forms on the Menu) on performance as a group member will be turned in during Section 7. The average po int (out of 50) you get from group evaluations will make 1/4 of the overall participation grade. You will submit the self and group evaluation form via the Assignments area when requested. This grading process allows for fair individualized grades and stil l provides an opportunity for you to work in groups.
385 Appendix B (Continued) Section 1 : 25 points (for class discussions CD) Section 2 : 35 points (10 points for Group discussion GD, 10 points for CD, 5 points for Elluminate Meeting 1, and 10 points for Reflection Paper 1) Section 3: 25 points (15 points for GD, 10 points for CD) Section 4 : 30 points (10 points for GD, 10 points for CD, 10 points Reflection Paper 2) Section 5 : 25 points (15 points for GD, 10 points for CD) Section 6: 35 points (10 points for GD, 15 points for Elluminate Meeting 3 participation, and 10 points for Reflection Paper 3. Section 7 : 35 points (15 points for GD, 10 points for CD, 10 points Reflection Paper 4) Total: 210 points (+ 50 points from self & group evaluation) Grou p and Class Discussion Rubric %0 25% %30 50% %60 75% %80 100% Promptness Zero contribution timely. Contributes only within the last hours of deadline. Contributes timely. Frequently contributes in a timely manner which leads to effective discuss ions. Content quality of the posts Irrelevant content. The entry represents just personal perspective, which does not reflect reading materials. The content represents rich, thoughtful critical analysis. The content represents rich, thoughtful c ritical analysis and synthesis. References are used. Contribution to the Learning Community No attempt to contribute learning community. Just use of agreement statements. For example, "I agree with what you said in oes not count as moving the discussion to the next level. Very limited contribution to the learning community. Responds to some other community constructively, motivates the discussion by thoughtful questions and/or comments. Aware of needs of community; frequently attempts to motivate the discussion; presents creative approaches to topics. grade. Members should be in agreement with the group summary before it is posted
386 Appendix C: Self and Group Evaluation Rubric Use this form to evaluate the members of the group as well as yourself. Write the name of each group member in one of the columns, then assign a score of 0 to 5 (0 being the lowest, 5 the highest) to each group member for each criterion. Then total the scores for each member. At the bottom of this sheet make any comments that would like about your group interactions both positive and negative. You will submit this via the assignment area when requested. Y our name: Group Name: Criteria (including yours) in an alphabetical order based on surname NAMES: Meets deadlines Contributes good ideas in meetings Submits high quality work Shows respect for other members Your overall assessment contribution Total Points out of 25 Comments:
387 Appendix D: Survey 1 1. What is your name? 2. How old are you? 3. What nationality are you? What is your first language? 4. What is your major area of study? 5. Ho w many web based or Internet courses have you taken prior to this semester? 6. What made you decide to register online section of this course instead of face to face section? 7. How do you rate your computer and Internet skills? 8. How do you rate yourself as an on line learner? 9. Do you have a computer and the Internet connection at home and/or work? If you have Internet, please explain if you use dial up, cable, or DSL modem. 10. Do you have a headset and a webcam? 11. How much familiar are you with chat programs like Gmail Chat, MSN Messenger, AOL, or Skype? How often and for what purposes do you use them? Do you use text message, audio or video conferencing? 12. The course instructor uses Gmail Chat to be available to the students by being online for extended hours. Do you thin k this will help you in any way? Do you plan to contact the instructor via chat when you need? 13. Would you prefer taking this course in a traditional face to face format, an asynchronous format (e.g., only Blackboard), or a blended format (e.g., both Blackb oard and Elluminate Live and chat)? Why or why not?
388 Appendix D (Continued) 14. Did you use Elluminate Live or any other synchronous (real time) web based course systems before our course? 15. What advantages do you think Elluminate Live or other similar systems m ay offer for learning and creating an online community of learning where students feel connected to the instructor and other class members, and learn from each other? 16. Do you feel motivated to use Elluminate Live? 17. What concerns might you have regarding the use of Elluminate Live in this course? 18. Have you known any of your classmates or the instructor before this course? 19. How have you formed your groups? What factors affected your decision? 20. Are you taking any face to face courses with any of your classmates to gether? 21. Please feel free to share any other comments you have. 22. Since the beginning of this semester, how comfortable have you felt about: Contacting the instructor Contacting other students Participating in class discussions Expressing your feelings Expre ssing your thoughts 23. Since the beginning of this semester, how do you feel about: Instructor support Classmate support
389 Appendix D (Continued) Learning materials Learning activities/tasks/assessment Overall course satisfaction 24. I will conduct a dissertation s tudy in this class during the semester. I kindly ask your voluntary participation for this study. If you accept, I will contact you for 2 online interviews (one in the mid semester and one in the end of the semester), and use the data from your reflections course assignments, and surveys. You can find all necessary information in the Research Folder under Course Documents. Also, you can contact me for more information. Will you be willing to participate in this study?
390 Appendix E : Survey 2 Overall Percept ions Name: 1. How satisfied are you with this online course? Were your goals and/or expectations met? Please explain (e.g. the course activities, assignments, content, interactions, etc.). 2. How comfortable did you feel about: Contacting the instructor Contacti ng other students Participating in class discussions Expressing your feelings Expressing your thoughts Learning the content 3. How did you feel about: Instructor support Classmate support Overall course satisfaction 4. Have you perce ived a sense of online community of learning in this course? Why or why not? 5. Which aspect of this course was most beneficial to you in terms of learning and why? (This can include different types of course activities, types of interactions, etc.)
391 Appendix E (Continued) 6. Were you able to form distinct individual impressions of some classmates (feeling a sense of social presence) during this semester? If yes, what helped you achieve this most? 7. Did you feel your point of view was acknowledged by the instructor and other students? 8. Did you feel a real connection with the instructor, group members, and other students? Related to Elluminate Live 9. Do you believe during this semester the Elluminate meetings contributed to our online community of learning? 10. How did you feel when you listened to the instructor and other students speak (e.g., compared to text messages, what did audio add to communication)? 11. How do you rate all Elluminate Live meetings we had in terms of (please comment on each section): Your learning Inst ructor support and facilitation of discourse Peer teaching (group presentations) Social presence( projecting oneself socially and emotionally, thus being perceived as real people and feeling a sense of togetherness) Student int eractions and classmate support Overall satisfaction
392 Appendix E (Continued) Related to Gmail Chat 12. How do you rate Gmail Chat use in terms of (please comment on each section): Your learning Instructor support and facilitation of discourse ct teaching Social presence( projecting oneself socially and emotionally, thus being perceived as real people and feeling a sense of togetherness) I nteractions with other students and classmate support Overall satisfaction Other Factors 13. Apart from the use of Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat, what other factors (such as face to face orientation, e Caf forum, use of photos, use of audio messages/emails, personal emails, prompt feedback, group projects, and so on) do you think affected creating an effective lea rning community in this course (which covers social presence, teacher presence, and meaningful learning)? 14. Compared to other online courses you took before where synchronous tool s were not used what difference did using the synchronous tool s (Elluminate Li ve and Gmail Chat) make in terms of interaction, learning, and a sense of belonging to this class? 15. Please feel free to comment on any other issues you want to share with me? Thank you.
393 Appendix F : Synchronous Meeting Student Reflection Log Regarding the please describe : 1. How you felt during the session. 2. The challenges and problems you encountered. 3. The advantages that you perceived regarding the use of Elluminate Live please c omment on the following topics: 4. Your interaction with the instructor. (Effective? Met the needs? Easy to interact? Felt comfortable to interact?) 5. Y our interaction with other students. 6. Y our learning (Has it been effective to learn the content? Do yo u value live meetings for your learning the course content?) 7. Y our overall satisfaction of the meeting 8. How did the Elluminate meeting affect your perception of social presence? (projecting oneself socially and emotionally, thus being perceived as real peo ple and feeling a sense of togetherness online ) 9. How did the Elluminate meeting affect y (e.g. did you perceive them as real like in face to face classroom?) 10. How did the Elluminate meeting af fect y and/or teaching presence (direct teaching, presenting content, providing clarification and feedback, facilitating student learning) What tools or strategies did you find effective? What was not effective?
394 Append ix F (Continued) 11. Overall, do you believe this meeting contributed to creating an online community of learning for our class? Do you feel we have established a community of learning by now? Do you feel as a member in this community? Note: Sense of communit y is feelings that members have of belonging, a feeling that Creating a sense of community in an online course alleviate s loneliness and isolation that is impediment for learning. 12. So far how often have you used Gmail chat or any other synchronous tools with the course instructor and classmates? How do you evalu ate its effectiveness? Would you rather prefer an office hour via Elluminate every week? 13. If you have not used it, what is the reason? Do you plan to use? 14. 15. Comment on your experience with Gmail cha t in this course, do you think it promotes social presence, teaching presence, and your learning? Do you think it promotes having an online community of learning? 16. Please share any other comments you have.
395 Appendix G : Synchronous Meeting Researcher Obse rvation Log Date: Time: Purpose of the session: Presenters/Moderators: Number of participants: Teaching Presence & Cognitive Presence Tools used : Materials and resources the instructor used: Teaching strategies the instructor used to motivate and encoura ge learning: I nteraction between the instructor and the participants: Interaction among the participants: Assessment and results: Technical issues: Social Presence indicators during the meeting: Other incidents and/or comments:
396 Appendix H : Instructor/Res earcher Self Reflection Protocol Background/ Previous Experience/ Course Design and Delivery 1. How long have you taught online courses and which, technologies have you used? 2. Does this course include any face to face meetings ? 3. What is you r training and experi ence in using synchronous tools in an online course ? 4. What is your teaching load this semester? What is the enrollment in your course? 5. What are the biggest challenges of teaching this course online? 6. How do you plan to use Elluminate Live and Google Talk/Gma il Chat in your class? 7. What strategies are you currently employing to increase social presence, promote build ing a learning community and reduce feelings of isolation? What role do you think the synchronous tools play to achieve these aims ? 8. What is the ro le of student to student interaction in this course? How do students interact with each other? How do you interact with your students ? 9. What other advantages do you foresee with using synchronous communication tools ? 10. What challenges do you foresee with us ing synchronous communication tools ? 11. H ow do you inform students about Elluminate Live meetings as well as Google Talk/Gmail Chat ? Have you i ncorporated synchronous sessions into the course syllabus and calendar? 12. How do students in your class learn how to use synchronous tools? (Face to face orientation, written instructions, and/or practice meetings)
397 Appendix H (Continued) 13. Instructor/Researcher Self Reflection at the end of the semester 14. What is your overall impression of use of Elluminate Live and Gmail Ch at tools in this semester? 15. How often did you end up using Elluminate Live and Google Talk/Gmail Chat? 16. How was the participation rate in whole class Elluminate Live meetings? 17. How many students interacted with you using Google Talk/Gmail Chat? 18. How many stu dents requested to have Elluminate Live meetings with you or with their group? 19. What challenges did you experience with using Elluminate Live and Google Talk/Gmail Chat? How did you try to solve them? 20. How would you rate the use of Elluminate Live for buildi ng a community of inquiry (teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence)? 21. How would you rate the use of Gmail Chat for building a community of inquiry (teaching presence, cognitive presence, and social presence)? 22. What is your perception of st udent satisfaction for Elluminate Live and Google Talk/Gmail Chat? 23. What were the most positive and negative experiences you had related to the use of Elluminate Live and Google Talk/Gmail Chat? 24. Based on your experience with these synchronous tools in this semester, what modifications would you make to your teaching? What recommendations would you have for other online instructors?
398 Appendix I : The Probing Interview Questions 1. How often have you used Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat in this course so far? 2. Are yo u using these tools to communicate with your friends? Tell me about your experiences, or why you do not use. 3. I noticed that you (e.g. did not participate much during our live meeting), please tell me about what affected you. 4. You wrote in your second reflec tion that (e.g. I enjoy synchronous meeting), can you please elaborate on this? 5. What is your overall impression of use of Elluminate Live and Gmail Chat tool in this semester? 6. Do you have any concerns related to synchronous interactions in this course? 7. Wh at features of this course do you find most valuable to your learning? 8. Do you feel a sense of belonging in this course (to the instructor and other students)? 9. What do you think about the role of synchronous communication in your learning? 10. Do you think we f synchronous communications? 11. What do you think about teacher availability, office hour, and immediacy? 12. Are you comfortable with interacting with other students and instructor? What factors mediate your co mfort level? 13. Remember our last Elluminate Live meeting, I was teaching (e.g. phonology), if we did not have that meeting, how do you think your learning would be affected?
399 Appendix I (Continued) 14. Do you believe having synchronous interactions affect your sa tisfaction with this course? 15. If you were the instructor, would you use synchronous tools and how similar or different way compared to this course?
400 Appendix J: Informed Consent INFORMED CONSENT TO PARTICIPATE IN RESEARCH Information to Consider Bef ore Taking Part in this Research Study IRB Study # _______________ Researchers at the University of South Florida (USF) study many topics. To do this, we need the help of people who agree to take part in a research study. This form tells you about th is research study. We are asking you to take part in a research study that is called: The Role of Synchronous Communication in an Online Preservice ESOL Course: Community of Inquiry Perspective The person who is in charge of this research study is Aylin Tekiner Tolu This person is called the Principal Investigator (PI) However, other research staff may be involved and can act on behalf of the person in charge. The research will be done in your online course, FLE 4316, Language Principles and Acquisiti on (section 798F09) at the USF Purpose of the study The overarching aim of the current research study is to investigate how synchronous computer mediated communication (CMC) tools mediate community of inquiry as well as student satisfaction in a totally online preservice ESOL course. Specifically, the aim is to understand the role and perceived effects of two types of synchronous CMC tools, Gmail Chat and Elluminate Live, on the student satisfaction and online community of inquiry which includes social pr esence, cognitive presence and teaching presence. This study is being conducted for a dissertation. Study Procedures If you take part in this study, you will be asked to
401 Appendix J (Continued) 1) Be interviewed twice: first, during mid semester and seco nd, at the end of the semester. Interviews will be conducted via Elluminate Live, will last approximately one hour and will be recorded. Based on the survey and reflection data, you may be contacted for another short interview. [The following procedures ar e part of the course assignments and/or documents and records] 2) Take 2 online surveys: first, early semester and second, at the end of the semester. The survey 1 takes approximately 30 minutes. Survey 2 will take place approximately one hour. 3) You will be as ked to write a short reflection on your each use of synchronous communications during the semester. Four Elluminate Live meetings are scheduled for the semester. And each meeting is recorded for course and research purposes. Use of Chat/Gmail Chat depends on student intention. Text based chat sessions are recorded. These recordings as well as your class performance (participation and assignment grades) will be analyzed. Alternatives You have the alternative to choose not to participate in this research stu dy. Benefits The potential benefits to you are to become a reflective learner. Risks or Discomfort This research is considered to be minimal risk. That means that the risks associated with this study are the same as what you face every day. There are n o known additional risks to those who take part in this study. Compensation We will not pay you for the time you volunteer while being in this study. Confidentiality We must keep your study records as confidential as possible. All data including audio or video communications will be recorded in the BlackBoard course site and only the PI and you will reach your interview recording. Pseudo names will be used to protect your privacy. The data will be kept confidential at the researcher's home and saved on personal password secured laptop. The data will be maintained for 5 years and then will be electronically destroyed. Except the PI and dissertation committee, no other person will reach the data. However, certain people may need to see your study records. However, certain people may need to see your study records. By law, anyone who looks at your records must keep them completely confidential. The only people who will be allowed to see these records are:
402 Appendix J (Continued) The research team, includi ng the Principal Investigator and dissertation committee. Certain government and university people who need to know more about the study. For example, individuals who provide oversight on this study may need to look at your records. This is done to make s ure that we are doing the study in the right way. They also need to make sure that we are protecting your rights and your safety.) These include: o T he University of South Florida Institutional Review Board (IRB) and the staff that work for the IRB. Other individuals who work for USF that provide other kinds of oversight may also need to look at your records. o T he Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). We may publish what we learn from this study. If we do, we will not let anyone know your name. We will not publish anything else that would let people know who you are. Voluntary Participation / Withdrawal You should only take part in this study if you want to volunteer. You should not feel that there is any pressure to take part in the study, to please the investigator or the research staff. You are free to participate in this research or withdraw at any ti me. If you agree to participate in this study and later decide to withdraw it will suffice to let the PI know in writing through an e mail Th ere will be no penalty or loss of benefits that you are entitled to receive if you stop taking part in this study. Your decision to participate or not to participate will not affect your student status in this course you are taking with the PI. Questions concerns, or complaints If you have any questions, concerns or complaints about this study, call Aylin Tekiner Tolu at 407 430 8038. If you have questions about your rights as a participant in this study, general questions, or have complaints, concerns o r issues you want to discuss with someone outside the research, call the Division of Research Integrity and Compliance of the University of South Florida at (813) 974 9343. If you experience an unanticipated problem related to the research call Aylin Tekin er Tolu at 407 430 8038. If you have questions about your rights as a person taking part in this research study you may contact the Florida Department of Health Institutional Review Board (DOH IRB) at (866) 433 2775 (toll free in Florida) or 850 245 4585.
403 Appendix J (Continued) Consent to Take Part in this Research Study It is up to you to decide whether you wa nt to take part in this study. If you want to take part, please sign the form, if the following statements are true. I freely give my consent to take part in this study. I understand that by signing this form I am agreeing to take part in research. I have received a copy of this form to take with me. _____________________________________________ ____________ Signature of Person Taking Part in St udy Date _____________________________________________ Printed Name of Person Taking Part in Study Statement of Person Obtaining Informed Consent I have carefully explained to the person taking part in the study what he or she can expect. I hereby certi fy that when this person signs this form, to the best of my knowledge, he or she understands: What the study is about. What procedures/interventions/investigational drugs or devices will be used. What the potential benefits might be. What the known risks might be. _________ Signature of Person Obtaining Informed Consent Date Printed Name of Person Obtaining Informed Consent
404 Appendix K: Copyright Permission for the CoI Figures and Tables ----Original Message ----From: Dr. D. Randy Garrison [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] Sent: Sunday, July 26, 2009 4:49 PM To: email@example.com Subject: Re: Community of Inquiry & Request for permission Aylin, You have my permission. I would be interested in hearing about your research. Best wishes, RG Aylin Tekiner wrote: Dear Dr. Garrison, I am a doctoral student at the Universi ty of South Florida, working on my dissertation. My degree will be in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology. I am very interested in the CoI mo del. My dissertation focuses on the role of using synchronous communication tools for community of inquiry in a totally online preservice teacher education course. Also, in another study, with my colleague, we plan to investigate teaching presence role fo r online collaborative learning. I would like to ask your permission to use a copy of your CoI figures and tables depicting categories and indicators of each presence in our written papers, with appropriate citations to your work per APA guidelines. If you are interested in the findings, I would be happy to share them with you. Thank you for your consideration and help. Sincerely, Aylin Tekiner Tolu
ABOUT THE AUTHOR Aylin Tekiner Tolu received her B.A. degree in Teaching English as Second Languag e at Middle East Technical University in Turkey in 2002. After graduating, she worked as an English instructor in an elementary school and English language institute for adults. She received her M.S. degree in Cognitive Science from the same university in 2005. While being a Ph.D. student in Second Language Acquisition and Instructional Technology program at the University of South Florida, she worked as an ESL instructor in the English Language Institute, worked as an ESOL office assistant, and taught appl ied linguistics and preservice and inservice ESOL courses in the College of Education.